Author(s): Alexandra Harris
Writers and artists across the centuries, from Chaucer to Ian McEwan, and from the creator of the Luttrell Psalter in the 14th century to John Piper in the 20th, looking up at the same skies and walking in the same brisk air, have felt very different things and woven them into their novels, poems and paintings. Alexandra Harris's subject is not the weather itself, but the weather as it is daily recreated in the human imagination. She builds her remarkable story from small evocative details and catches the distinct voices of compelling individuals: 'Bloody cold', says Jonathan Swift in the 'slobbery' January of 1713; Percy Shelley wants to become a cloud and John Ruskin wants to bottle one...Weatherland is both a sweeping panorama of cultural climates on the move and a richly illustrated, intimate account - for although weather, like culture, is vast, it is experienced physically, emotionally and spiritually; as Harris cleverly reveals, it is at the very core of what it means to be English.
Shortlisted for Ondaatje Prize 2016.