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Rocks and Rain, Reason and Romance

The Landscape, History and People of the Lake District


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David Howe tells the story of the Lake District, England’s most dramatic landscape. Home to vistas of stunning beauty and a rich heritage, it is an area of England that fascinates, inspires – and has bewitched David for a lifetime. 

With passion and an endless curiosity, he reveals how half a billion years of shifting ice, violent volcanoes and (of course) falling rain have shaped the lakes and fells that have fired the imaginations of the great sons and daughters of the area, the poets and the scientists. He shows that Lakeland is a seamless web where lives and landscape weave together, where the ancient countryside has created a unique local history: of farming and mining, of tightknit communities, of a resilient and proud people. 

The Lake District is a place of rocks and rain, reason and romance, wonder and curiosity. And this book celebrates it all: the very character of Cumbria. 

REVIEWS OF Rocks and Rain, Reason and Romance

"Chapters on mountains, ice and lakes, on farming and national parks and Wainwright … set against Cumbria’s wider cultural importance … very accessible … [yet] holds a considerable weight of authority." Country Life

"Interesting … links the landscape with the scientists, the Romantic poets and other notable residents [of the Lake District] … forensic details of the geology and geomorphology of the Lakes … detailed biographies on the lives and loves of the Romantic poets." BBC Countryfile Magazine

"An ambitious and enjoyable biography of a landscape." Cumbria Life, Book of the Month

"Affectionately written … a ramble through the Lake District … elegiac … a reflection on the transience of life and beauty." Workington Times and Star

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Rocks and Rain, Reason and Romance

About the author

David Howe

David Howe OBE is a retired academic who has written books on psychology, relationships and social work. His passions include walking, a layman’s interest in science, and writing – all of which led to the successful publication of his first non-academic book, Wandering in Norfolk: time lines and crossing places, which was shortlisted for the East Anglian Book Awards. Born and brought up in Manchester, he has a lifelong love of the Lake District. 

Praise for Wandering in Norfolk:

East Anglian Book Awards 2017, SHORTLISTED

“A real treat, and a perfect read for that comfortable armchair in front of the woodburner on a cold winter’s day.” Eastern Daily Press

“The pot pourri style is very effective … thoughtful views on a variety of subjects and some beautifully written science lessons … an excellent and well written book.” Amazon reviewer

“Beautifully written, a joy to read.” Amazon reviewer