By Laurie Olin
"Twenty-eight years in the past I went to England for a three-month stopover at and leisure. What i discovered replaced my life."
So starts this memoir through considered one of America's best-known panorama architects, Laurie Olin. Raised in a frontier city in Alaska, educated in Seattle and long island, Olin came across himself disillusioned along with his activity as an city architect and authorised a call for participation to England to take a respite from paintings. What he chanced on, in abundance, was once the serendipity of a human surroundings equipped over the years to reply to the land's personal personality and to the folk who lived and labored there. For Olin, the English nation-state used to be a palimpsest of the main eloquent and relocating style, but whose manifestation used to be of normal structures intended to shield their population and additional their work.
With evocative language and beautiful line drawings, the writer takes us again to his advent to the scenes of English kingdom cities, their historic universities, meandering waterways, and dramatic cloudscapes racing in from the Atlantic. He limns the geologic histories came upon in the rock, the near-forgotten histories of place-names, and the new histories of educate strains and car routes. evaluating the expansion of establishing within the English geographical region, Olin attracts a few sobering conclusions approximately our sleek way of life and its expanding separation from the landscape.
As a lot a plea for saving the trendy American panorama because it is a passionate exploration of what makes the English panorama so ordinarily English, Across the Open Field is "an affectionate ramble via genuine areas of lasting worth."
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Additional info for Across the open field : essays drawn from English landscapes
The problem is as old as urbanized man. All over the world, in South America, Asia, and Africa, as well as in Europe and the United States, young country folk are still moving to cities in search of employment and a better life, while city dwellers are writing and singing songs about rural life, moving to the suburbs, and swarming to their weekend cottages in the country. ON BUCKLAND AND DRAWING This cottage, known as Godwin House, bears witness to the major periods of construction and growth that have transpired here on the edge of the Cotswolds as elsewhere in southern England.
As I was to learn later, the drive paralleled the Thames River valley along a low ridge through farming country quintessentially English. To the left, across a HERE IS AN ELUSIVE ASPECT Above, the Thames River valley looking north to the Cotswolds from the edge of the village; below, chalk, corn, hedgerows, and clouds above the farms. Buckland, Oxfordshire. 1. 26 CHAPTER TWO succession of hedgerows and barley fields, lay the Vale of the White Horse, Uffington, and the Downs. To the right lay Oxfordshire, and ahead lay the Cotswolds.
The task of raising and setting out pheasants had become such a burden for the lone warden and the pocketbook of Wellesley, the owner of the manor, that finally the following season he withdrew from the shooting association and raised only enough for his own table. Fox hunting, an activity described by Oscar Wilde as "the unspeakable in full pursuit of the uneatable;' was still practiced in this area, which was ideally suited to both foxes and riding. Hunts, today generally scheduled after the grain harvest to minimize damage to the crops, can often raise havoc with other wildlife both during and after the hunt.
Across the open field : essays drawn from English landscapes by Laurie Olin
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