Richard Fortey: The Hidden Landscape



kindle pdf The Hidden Landscape by Richard Fortey – cafe1919.org

It must be uite sad to be a creationist Stand on the beach near Bude and try to imagine that all these strata these folds this drama came into being a meagre few thousand years ago ather than 300 million years ago How narrow is such a vision how bleak what a betrayal of human intelligence of human curiosity You have to try also to imagine a capricious deity moving in ways mysterious indeed taking the trouble to plant all this overwhelmingly convincing evidence of high antiuity just to tempt geologists palaeontologists and archaeologists into doubt and sin A god like that would be capable of any low nastiness well I almost forgot about JobRichard Fortey s fine book takes us on a journey back into No Limits (Brutal Master reality starting with a very distanteality and he is the most elouent and enthusiastic of guides It is a journey he has done already although then he did not begin at the beginning collecting fossils from Liar, Liar rocks sometimes generous and sometimes parsimonious For us heecounts the story of the creation of Britain and Ireland straightforwardly beginning with the gneisses of the Western Isles at 2900 million years old not the oldest Essays One rocks we know of there areocks in Canada and Australia that are 4000 million years old but old enough eh Rolling across the country and through time he enthuses about the deposits of ever younger ocks piling one after the other through the shales of the Cambrian my own native ed sandstone of the Devonian a mere 400 million years then the coal of the Carboniferous and so on The Jurassic of Dorset where the young Mary Annan collected so many dinosaur fossils was buried in the end by the chalk Over this again were laid the clays of the London ba. 'A very well written book about geology and geological history' Sir David Attenborough The Times 'I travelled to Haverfordwest to get to the past From Paddington Station a Great Western locomotive took me on a journey westwards from London further and further back into geological time from the age of mammals to the age of trilobites'So begins this enthralling exploration of time and place in which

Sin The last event to majorly shape the land was of course the ice the last major glaciations ending just 10000 years ago long long after the first humans wandered around Happisburgh or even BoxgroveThis are memorable descriptions here The Welsh Devonian mountains cast their Old Red Sandstone debris eastwards and southwards where it comprises the widest belt of these ocks in the country From Ross on Wye west to Llandilo is sixty miles from Bridgenorth Shropshire south to Newport seventy and all of that on Old Red Its outcrop passes to either side of the South Wales coalfield which being a great syncline assures us that the Old Red must scoop beneath it as a hand might hold a bowl In areas of knowledge not geological scholarly editing might have avoided some errors such as salt mining at Droitwich originating in the Dark Ages when in fact it is Iron Age Even much less scholarly editing might have avoided dates being endered as 1900 in several places These are minor flaws though in a book that is a joy to ead and packed full of gripping stuff I saw The Hidden Landscape on the ecommended table in Blackwells the proper Broad Street shop Unlike the other books there was only one copy left That was it impulse made me buy it in case there were no I m so glad Turns geology into poetry Fortey believes that the spirit of place is largely determined by the ocks beneath and provides convincing arguments as he tours Great Britain from the ancient mountains of Scotland to Suffolk s crumbling shore Prose so evocative it makes one want to leap on the next charabanc to Lulworth Cove A Journey into the Geological Past by the palaentologist Richard Fortey The landscape in uesti. Ichard Fortey peels away the top layer of the land to eveal the hidden landscape the ocks which contain the story of distant events which dictate not only the personality of the landscape but the nature of the soil the plants that grow in it and the egional characteristics of the buildings We travel with him as our guide throughout the British Isles and as the ocks change so we learn to ead the.

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On is that of the British Isles one whose superficial ualities both natural and man made have been determined by the underlying ocks As the British Isles are formed of many various ocks of different ages and origins they offer a fascinating illustration of the history of Earth I have never come across a science writer who makes his topics interesting His style anges from the poetically sublime to the dryly idiculous Unfortunately I could only get hold of this to ead on my ancient black and white Kindle As I have travelled over a fair bit of the British Isles I could call many landscapes and townscapes to mind or google them but I never got a grip on the botany For this creature of the antipodean subtropics the lyrically described trees and flowers too numerous to google which are specific to particular terrains are as unfamiliar as Shakespeare s bank whereon the wild thyme blows and have to be imagined Loved it What a wonderful book that combines geology ocks fault lines natural history tectonics tramping and Scotland all in one chapter and just about in every chapter There s a touch of Bill Bryson to Fortey s writing it won t leave you in stitches but will bring a smile to your face Something that s difficult given the topic which is generally seen as dry All of these interests are favourites of mine so when they appear in the one book what can you ask for I ve never been to Scotland though plan on visiting very soon ather than the typical guide books I think this will be dictating where we visit just so I can see the splendour of the ocks for myself Very interesting as well as eadable Already have a list of people to lend it to as with all the best book. Clues they contain that Britain was once divided into two parts separated by an ocean that Scottish malt whisky Harris tweed slate oofs and thatched cottages can be traced back to tumultuous events which took place many millions of years ago The Hidden Landscape has become a classic in popular geology since its first publication in 1993 This new edition is fully updated and beautifully illustrated.

Richard Fortey is a senior paleontologist at the Natural History Museum in London and a Fellow of the Royal Society He was Collier Professor in the Public Understanding of Science and Technology at the Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of Bristol in 2002 His books have been widely acclaimed Life A Natural History of the First Four Billion Years of Life on Earth Knopf was short