Fox and Crow

David Craig

  • The Moor: Lives, Landscape, Literature by William Atkins
    Faber, 371 pp, £18.99, May 2014, ISBN 978 0 571 29004 8

What do moors sound like? Like a universe of bees, whose unison is only a few notes higher than the singing of our own bloodstream, which we half-hear, half-sense during the small hours between sleeps. What do they smell like? Like honey, steeping the sunshine. What do they look like? Like a brown and purple cloud-shadow spread out across the uplands, described by William Atkins in characteristically fine focus when he says of the North Yorkshire moors that ‘the new blooms were silverish specks; they were pale grey, beige and mint green. I picked a sprig, but the moor-purple visible from a distance was not a colour you could take home. That would be like hoping to capture a sea’s blue in a dunked glass.’

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