Compelling account of little-known aspect of the Great War

History: The Great Explosion: Gunpowder, the Great War, and a Disaster on the Kent Marshes

15th August, 2015
A mass funeral for the victims of the Cotton Powder factory explosion Picture: Getty

Penguin, €25.50

In the exceptional book Landmarks, published earlier this year, Robert Macfarlane explored the evolving relationship between language and landscape in the British Isles; the decimation of a literary lexicon of the natural world in the face of urban uniformity.

The book is both a love-letter to a disappearing landscape and an archive of a dying geographical language, as Macfarlane revives long-defunct descriptive terms such as skradge: a small bank raised on...

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