All the Wide Border: Wales, England and the Places Between (Paperback)
  • All the Wide Border: Wales, England and the Places Between (Paperback)
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All the Wide Border: Wales, England and the Places Between (Paperback)

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Paperback 304 Pages
Published: 01/02/2024
  • 10+ in stock

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Waterstones Says

Tracing the England-Wales border through breathtaking landscapes and contentious history, Parker's delightful and perceptive volume poses searching questions about identity, culture and political power.

Waterstones Welsh Book of the Month for February 2024

A funny, warm and timely meditation on identity and belonging, following the scenic route along the England–Wales border: Britain’s deepest faultline.

There is a line on the map: to one side Wales, small, rugged and stubborn; on the other England, crucible of the most expansionist culture the world has ever seen. It is a line that has been dug, debated, defined and defended for twenty centuries.

All the Wide Border is a personal journey through the places, amongst the people, and across the divides of the border between England and Wales. Taking in some of our loveliest landscapes, and our darkest secrets, this is a region of immeasurable wonder and interest. It is here that the deepest roots and thorniest paradoxes of Britishness lie. The border between the countries, even as a concept, is ragged, jagged and many-layered.

Garlanded author Mike Parker has adored and explored these places his entire life. Born in England but settled in Wales, he finds himself typical of many in being pulled in both directions. His journey is divided into three legs, corresponding with the watersheds of the three great border rivers: the Dee in the north, the Severn in the centre, the Wye in the south. Neither quite England nor Wales, the furzy borderland he uncovers — the March — is another country.

Picking apart the many notions and clichés of Englishness, Welshness and indeed Britishness, Mike Parker plays with the very idea of borders: our fascination with them, our need for them, and our response to their power. In his hands, the England–Wales frontier is revealed to be a border within us all, and it is fraying, fast.

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
ISBN: 9780008499211
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 220 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 24 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

‘I loved this book. Mike Parker weaves together a great deal of wide reading, hard thinking and soulful tramping in his funny, thoughtful and evocative investigation of the Welsh–English border.’ Jesse Armstrong, creator of Succession and Peep Show ‘Delightful and perceptive … Poses searching questions about identity, culture and political power.’ Waterstones Books of the Year ‘A joyful canter through the Marches. Delightfully engaging. Blending history, literature and personal anecdote, Mike Parker writes with energy and wit.’ TLS ‘No-one maps the secrets of the UK quite like Mike Parker.’ Ayesha Hazarika ‘A brilliant, fascinating book; Parker is funny and lyrical whilst always choosing brutal truth over sentimentality.’ Miles Jupp 'Classic Parker – a delicious, learned tour through a fascinating place.' Tom Bullough, author of Sarn Helen ‘Genuinely great.’ Adrian Chiles 'I gobbled this up.' Jude Rogers ‘A beautifully written journey through the history and landscape of the border country and a clear-eyed analysis of its physical and psychological dividing line – the best kind of travelogue.’ Richard King, author of Brittle with Relics: A History of Wales, 1962–97 ‘This enthralling journey beautifully celebrates our ancient frontier land and is a present-day reminder of its’ enduring duty.’ Tudur Owen, BAFTA winning comedian and presenter ‘I was often overcome by “fierce wonder”. Fine writing indeed.’ John Sam Jones, author of The Journey is Home ‘Engaging, entertaining and very readable.’ Nation.Cymru ‘A likeable, highly literate companion.’ New Welsh Review ‘A kind of mini-biography of the British psyche emerges from Parker's work, its learning lightly worn and its tales well told, full of interest and incident’ Horatio Clare

In Conversation with Marc P. Jones

In Conversation with Marc P. Jones

Aberystwyth
Thursday 25th April 19:00

Join us for an entertaining evening discussing Marc P. Jones' new book, The Long Unwinding Road: A Journey Through the Heart of Wales. This is a funny, engaging read that's perfect for fans of travel writing and Welsh interest! We've got the brilliant Mike Parker - former Welsh Book Of The Month author of All The Wide Border - interviewing Mark, so it's sure to be a great evening!

View

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Paperback

“The line on a map”

What a joy this book was to read, living as I do right on the border between England and Wales and seeing where you live in print brought a real smile to my face. The book looks at the history of this line on a map,... More

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 1

“Very interesting book”

I live on the Marches and know many of the places in this book very well. However the history of how fluid the border has always been was a surprise. We use Welsh words such as cwtch over on the English side so there... More

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 1

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