Reading the landscape

There is a wealth of content and material relating to landscape and sense of place on line, as categorised in the gazetteer of landscape on the web on this blog. And yet, to really get under the skin of the subject the physical book (or the ebook, if you are that way inclined) remains for me the best routeway into deeper understanding and contemplation; although building up a personal library does require both space and an understanding partner.

Here (through the links below), is a selection of the books and journals that I feel provide a comprehensive and diverse landscape biblio-resource; with the tantalising prospect that there will always be new and old additions to come. And now nicely topped up with some previously unexplored content from the British Library's Writing Britain: Wastelands to Wonderlands exhibition of 2012.

My objective has been to make the list as catholic, inclusive and broad ranging as possible, but like any such exercise, it is inevitably partial. I have only included works that I have either read (or, in a few cases, intend to read), used for reference or have some familiarity with, and this will have led to omissions that are due to my, conscious or unconscious, bias and personal preferences (and explains, for instance, why Ulysses and Harry Potter are not included; as well as JG Ballard, who's work leaves me cold - presumably his intention). This is particularly the case with the Landscape writing: prose section, which reflects my own tastes (light on costume drama fodder) rather than any claim to be fully comprehensive; an impossible undertaking anyway.

I am also conscious that there are some gaps due to my patchy knowledge of key and up-to-date texts in certain specialist areas, particularly in the Landscape Architecture, Arborculture and Gardening and Physical Landscapes categories. Any suggestions for additions here, or in any of the other sections, would be very gratefully received.

Geographically, the majority of the texts relate to the British Isles, but with a fair smattering of more international content and subject matter; the temporal spread (of subject matter and authorship) is as broad as it can be. Whilst women writers are quite well represented, it is disappointing that the authors are so overwhelmingly and mono-culturally white.

Many of these texts transcend the narrowness of the generic labels I have divided them up with, but this is my vain attempt to impose some sort of order on a fairly vast body of work; I have tried to place each in a category that I feel best captures the main thrust of the work in question.

As the list is a very long one (over 500 titles) I have placed each category on a separate page, accessed via the links below:

And if you can't find or afford to buy any of the above books, try the LibriVox free audiobook resource.  


  1. I do have an Ebook in my iPAD that is entitled My Shed Plans that features most of the inspiring landscape design ideas and planning tips from some of the professional landscape architect. There has also some tips about landscape management and other stuff that you would love too.

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  4. Great read, very informative and indepth
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  5. Thanks for providing the links.

  6. Cheers Eddie! These lists are a lifesaver :)

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