A Land

A Land

A Land

A Land

Excerpt

In this book I have used the findings of the two sciences of geology and archaeology for purposes altogether unscientific. I have tried to use them evocatively, and the image I have sought to evoke is of an entity, the land of Britain, in which past and present, nature, man and art appear all in one piece. I see modern men enjoying a unity with trilobites of a nature more deeply significant than anything at present understood in the processes of biological evolution; I see a land as much affected by the creations of its poets and painters as by changes of climate and vegetation.

The nature of this unity cannot be stated, for it remains always just beyond the threshold of intellectual comprehension. It can only be shown as a blurred reflection through hints coming from many directions but always falling short of their objective.

If in A Land I have often recalled my own childhood, it has not been so much from egotism as from a wish to steal that emotion which uses our own early memories for a realization of the most distant past. Certainly, for myself, in recalling the experiences of that remote, unknown child, I find I am being led back far beyond the bounds of personality and of my own life.

Precision in scientific detail is not, perhaps, of great importance for my purposes, but it has been my hope to avoid mistakes of known fact. In this endeavour I have been sympathetically supported by Dr. Kenneth Oakley who read my text at an early- stage and did all that could be done to save me from geological error. I am also grateful to him and to the British Museum of Natural History for permission to use the chronological table printed at the end of the volume. Again, it was Dr. Oakley who advised Maurice Wilson on the content of the maps.

I have been exceptionally fortunate in assembling the pictures which arc an intimate part of this book. I was delighted when . . .

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