A hauntingly beautiful memoir on nature and hearing loss, for readers of Macfarlane's THE OLD WAYS or John Lewis-Stempel's THE RUNNING HARE
Neil Ansell's THE LAST WILDERNESS is a mesmerising book on nature and solitude by a writer who has spent his lifetime taking solitary ventures into the wild. For any readers of the author's previous book, DEEP COUNTRY, Robert Macfarlane's THE OLD WAYS or William Atkins THE MOOR.
'A gem of a book, an extraordinary tale. Ansell's rich prose will transport you to a real life Narnian world that C.S.Lewis would have envied. Find your deepest, most comfortable armchair and get away from it all' Countryfile
The experience of being in nature alone is here set within the context of a series of walks that Neil Ansell takes into the most remote parts of Britain, the rough bounds in the Scottish Highlands. He illustrates the impact of being alone as part of nature, rather than outside it.
As a counterpoint, Neil Ansell also writes of the changes in the landscape, and how his hearing loss affects his relationship with nature as the calls of the birds he knows so well become silent to him.
Neil Ansell was an award winning television journalist with the BBC and a long standing writer for the broadsheets. He is the author of two previous books, Deep Country and Deer Island, and has contributed to nature programmes and wildlife documentaries though his main focus was news and current affairs. He has two daughters and lives in Brighton.
Ansell has the rare skill of combining vividly the intimacy of detail and the astonishing grandeur of this North West coastline of Scotland. Through his keen eyes we look again at the familiar with a sense of wondrous revelation — Madeleine Bunting
The Last Wilderness is a moving and mesmerising book. Ansell's quiet, respectful immersion in the landscape rewards with some startling encounters with the natural world. He is a knowledgeable and generous guide to the unique flora and fauna of this beautiful corner of Scotland — James Macdonald Lockhart, author of RAPTOR
Neil Ansell is a genuine creature of the wild. His knowledge of remote places, and his love for them, come from deep and sustained immersion. He writes in prose which is entirely right for its subject - unshowy, level-headed, quietly surprising. The Last Wilderness is a wonderful experience which tingles with all the sensations of being out on the hill, in all weathers, alone — Philip Marsden
A beautifully-written account of the author's journeys to some of the most remote parts of Britain in search of solitude and solace — Choice
Beautifully charts the challenges and solaces of being alone and part of nature — Bookseller
Lyrical, thought-provoking — Scotsman
A love letter to Scotland . . . how I wish I could go back to Arisaig and the Small Isles. How much I missed, but how glad I am to experience it now with this wonderful writer — My Weekly
Beautiful...a testimony to reticent courage — Daily Mail
[A] captivating memoir...vivid as photographs, yet sketched with something more profound than simple reportage. Beneath the measured, knowledgeable, unfussy voice is a meaningful, and even important record: not just of a changing landscape, but of a man such places have shaped. — The Herald
The Last Wilderness is a beautiful read; rich in descriptive detail... his passion for the environment and his sublime prose make it a book to be savoured. — CultureFly