Joanne Parker

Britannia Obscura

Britannia Obscura

Mapping Britain’s Hidden Landscapes


Longlisted for the 2014 Thwaites Wainwright Prize

Welcome to a large small island.

The outline of the British Isles is instantly recognisable. But jostling within that familiar profile are countless vying maps of the country. Some of these maps are founded on rock, or on the natural features of the land. Far more are built on dreams – on human activity, effort, and aspiration.

From investigations of caves and megaliths to canals and airspace, Joanne Parker reveals a country with countless competing centres and ceaselessly shifting borders – a land where one person’s sleepy, unexceptional province will always be the busy heart of another’s map.

Britannia Obscura opens our eyes to the infinitely layered, rich and surprising landscape of Britain.