Genre: Popular Science
Published: 4 June 2010
Publisher: Boxtree

The Lie of the Land

by Ian Vince

Like most of us, Ian Vince used to think of the British countryside as average, unexciting – as dramatic as a nice cup of tea. Then, over the course of a single car journey, the features of our green and pleasant land reawakened a fascination with geology that he had long forgotten, and he began to delve beneath the surface (metaphorically, that is). From the rocks of north-west Scotland which are amongst the oldest on the planet to St Michael’s Mount off the coast of Cornwall, which was still being shaped in human memory, The Lie of the Land takes us on a journey through a fantastically exotic Britain of red desert sands, shattering continental collisions and tides of volcanic lava. Ian Vince shows us how Britain came to look the way it does; and with warmth and wit transports us back through billions of years to a land that time forgot.

"Hidden beneath the surface of the British Landscape lie clues that enable geologists to reconstruct the distant past. From the red desert sands beneath Devon, to the Scottish Rocks that are older than the moon, this fascinating book takes us back through the ages on a tour of a hidden land that time forgot." - Waterstone's Books Quarterly
"Anyone who has ever picked up a pebble at the seaside or a rock on a moorland path will find invaluable Ian Vince's geological guide... you will understand the area round your British holiday cottage far more deeply than before." - Giles Foden (Author of The Last King of Scotland), Condé Nast Traveller
"Takes the reader on an explosive journey across millenia. Continents glide thousands of miles like contestants in Strictly Come Dancing, Scotland swelters on the Equator and Snowdonia boasts a volcanic ring of fire with mountains taller than Everest." - Daily Express
"The English Channel is a relatively recent addition to the landscape, caused by two enormous floods which took place 450,000 and 200,000 years ago respectively, as huge, glacier-fed lakes burst their banks. Had it not been for these two inundations, Vince muses, the history of Britain - and even the world - could have turned out very differently..." - The Scotsman
"Far from a dry, scholarly tome, The Lie of the Land is brim full of facts dressed up in a lively narrative more akin to a fictional adventure. Ian is a passionate soul and natural wordsmith." - Western Morning News
"The ancient Highlands and islands of Scotland, with their fascinating granite landscape, and the old red sandstone of the Devonian periot are all firmly related to our lives... Vince animates the inanimate." - The Field
"A reader friendly and informative study." - Geographical Magazine
"This good-humoured, eminently readable little book is intended to enthuse readers about Britain's unusually rich and varied geology. It does that job remarkably well, evoking the special magic of unique landscapes that urban sprawl and mass tourism haven't yet spoiled. It certainly made me want to jump into the car and go see for myself some of the places it so vividly describes... You'll be impressed at how much of Britain's geology and scenery you can enjoy just by pulling over at the right spot." - Dales Life magazine