All the Wide Border

All the Wide Border: Wales, England and the Places Between

Travel, Travel Writing
Paperback Published on: 01/02/2024
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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: 220g
  • Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 24 mm

Customer Reviews

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All the Wide Border
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 us... READ MORE
All the Wide Border
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 m... READ MORE
Philip Parker