Hidden Histories (Paperback)

A Spotter's Guide to the British Landscape

By Mary-Ann Ochota

Frances Lincoln, 9780711236936, 288pp.

Publication Date: April 5, 2018

Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (10/27/2016)

List Price: 24.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Description

'A definitive classic field guide [...] Its scope is as magnificent as our countryside itself.'
BBC Countryfile Magazine

'This book is perfect for anyone who’s travelled through the countryside, scratched their head, and thought, ‘what on earth is that thing?'' 
Tony Robinson

Have you ever driven past a lumpy, bumpy field and wondered what made the lumps and bumps? Or walked between two lines of grand trees and wondered when and why they were planted? Entertaining and factually rigorous, Hidden Histories has the answers and will help you decipher the story of Britain's landscape through the features you can see around you.

In this spotter’s guide, Mary-Ann Ochota arms amateur explorers with the crucial information needed to understand the landscape and spot the human activities that have shaped our green and pleasant land.

  • Photographs and diagrams point out specific details and typical examples to help the curious spotter understand what they’re looking at, or looking for.
  • Specially commissioned illustrations bring to life the processes that shaped the landscape (from medieval ploughing to Roman road building).
  • Stand-alone capsules explore interesting aspects of history (like the Highland Clearances or the coming of Christianity).
  • Feature boxes provide definitions of jargon or handy references as required (like a glossary of what different field names mean).
  • Each chapter culminates in a checklist of key details to look for, other things it might be, and gives details of where to find some of the best examples in Britain.

From lumps and bumps to stones, lines and villages, Hidden Histories is the must-have spotter’s guide to the British landscape.



About the Author

Mary-Ann Ochota is a broadcaster and anthropologist who gained her MA from Emmanuel College, Cambridge University in 2002. She is a reporter on Channel 4's Unreported World documentary strand, has presented on Time Team, and also programmes on ITV (including on Britain's Secret Treasures, for which she wrote the tie-in book), BBC4, BBC3, Discovery, Animal Planet and is a regular guest on Sky News newspaper review. She has written for the Daily Telegraph, Independent, Sun and the Mirror and has contributed to adventure and outdoors magazines in South Africa, USA and the UK, including Getaway, Women's Adventure and Countryfile Magazine.



Praise For Hidden Histories: A Spotter's Guide to the British Landscape

“…This fascinating spotter’s guide to Britain’s historical landscape – what to see and how to decipher it – is rammed with intriguing nuggets...You will quickly learn about the mysterious landscapes that we blunder across so blindly....Ochota’s book covers a satisfying variety of different subjects, from pathways, bridges and old houses, to hedges, churches, graveyards and field patterns left behind by medieval ploughmen…it is nuggets such as these that make this richly detailed book so attractive to read.”
 
  - Andrew Holgate, The Sunday Times

"This book is perfect for anyone who’s travelled through the countryside, scratched their head, and thought, ‘what on earth is that thing'?" - Tony Robinson

“...in Hidden Histories, a definitive classic field guide on a neglected area of interest – the landscape itself – is born…  its scope is as magnificent as our countryside itself.”

- Countryfile Magazine

“A great book to keep in the car ready for all those family days out and holidays. It is packed full of great illustrations that bring the book’s text to life.”

- Four Shires

"A field guide that will open your eyes to the countryside in a way that very few books can rival."

- Tom Holland, New Statesman

“…a fascinating guide to deciphering and understanding the British landscape.” - The Countryman

"A friendly and well-written introduction to the hidden riches of the British landscape, with clear explanations and excellent illustrations. Use it as a handy guide, when out-and-about, or read it from cover to cover at home. Either way, it’s an excellent and authoritative read." - Prof. Francis Pryor

"What a brilliant idea - I only wish I'd thought of it first! Reading the ground is so much fun - made even better by the fact it requires no kit except the human eye mark 1 - still the best tool of all, as you know. This fine tome is the perfect companion for a good old walk in the wilds. Fantastically thorough. And so much detail and careful thought, ideal for all - whether specialist or general enthusiast. I'm loving it and learning from it. First class! " - Neil Oliver

"This beautifully presented and fascinating guide will enrich any walk and while away many a rainy afternoon." - Trail Magazine

"I’ve spent over forty years wandering the British countryside, and only just found out I’ve been doing it with my eyes shut! Mary-Ann’s 'Hidden Histories' unveils the forgotten stories behind things we see everyday, and sheds light on spectacles we might otherwise stride obliviously past." - Steve Backshall

"Hidden Histories is an accessible travelogue through time from prehistoric Britain to recent history. With the easy style of a handbook, it will help you become a Sherlock Holmes of the landscape, able to decipher clues and annoy your friends with factoids about British history… a pleasure for anyone curious about the outdoors."

- Geographical

"Provides all the information you need to unlock the secret of your surroundings. Once you've read this book you'll see the landscape in a completely new light." - Outdoor Photography

" A pleasure for anyone curious about the outdoors." - Geographical Magazine