From a member of Parliament and best-selling author of The Places in Between, an exploration of the Marches—the borderland between England and Scotland—and the political turmoil and vivid lives that created it.
In The Places in Between, Rory Stewart walked some of the most dangerous borderlands in the world. Now he travels with his eighty-nine-year-old father—a comical, wily, courageous, and infuriating former British intelligence officer—along the border they call home.
On Stewart’s four-hundred-mile walk across a magnificent natural landscape, he sleeps on mountain ridges and in housing projects, in hostels and farmhouses. With every fresh encounter—from an Afghanistan veteran based on Hadrian’s Wall to a shepherd who still counts his flock in sixth-century words—Stewart uncovers more about the forgotten peoples and languages of a vanished country, now crushed between England and Scotland.
Stewart and his father are drawn into unsettling reflections on landscape, their parallel careers in the bygone British Empire and Iraq, and the past, present, and uncertain future of the United Kingdom. This is a profound reflection on family, landscape, and history by a powerful and original writer.
“An unforgettable tale.” — National Geographic
“The miracle of The Marches is not so much the treks Stewart describes, pulling in all possible relevant history, as the monument that emerges to his beloved father.” — New York Times Book Review