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Thursday, 7 January 2021




The Living Mountain is a lyrical testament in praise of the Cairngorms. It is a work deeply rooted in Nan Shepherd's knowledge of the natural world, and a poetic and philosophical meditation on our longing for high and holy places. Drawing on different perspectives of the mountain environment, Shepherd makes the familiar strange and the strange awe-inspiring. Her sensitivity and powers of observation put her into the front rank of nature writing.



I listened to the audio version of this book.

Written in the 1940's and hidden in a drawer until the 1970's, this is a stunningly beautiful and enchanting 'ode to the Cairngorms'. The wonderful language used throughout is brought to life exquisitely by Tilda Swinton, and even has bird song in the background which just adds to the feeling of calm and serenity that I had when listening.

Nan Shepherd was a woman who lived in Scotland her whole life and devoted her time to being amongst nature and walking the hills and mountains, taking note of all she saw around her and that lesson comes across loud and proud with her attention to detail. A very relevant lesson to us all, especially in these times, to take note of the little things you see, hear and smell around you.

She explores the wildlife living in the mountains, the danger to life and the changing and perilous weather experienced throughout the year. She shares her own recollections of climbs and walks, and what each journey taught her about herself. Just time with herself in nature made her feel so much and gave her life and energy.

Beautifully written and beautifully read!


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