Sunday, February 28, 2021

A History of the Peak District Moors


A History of the Peak District Moors is a well written and illustrated guide to the area by David Hey. First published in 2014, this reformat and re-release is due out 28th Feb 2021 from Pen & Sword. It's 207 pages and is available in paperback and ebook formats (other editions available in other formats). 

This book is an great example why I love reading local history. The author was certainly a gifted writer and deeply knowledgeable in his expertise; but mostly it's the respect and abiding love local historians have for their subjects which shine through, and move us, and which leave an indelible connection to an area. 

The author writes well and authoritatively and the book is laid out logically. The writing is succinct and information dense, but not pedantic or overly academic. The chapters are arranged thematically in very roughly geographic and chronological order from prehistory to the modern day, with emphasis on uses, "improvements", enclosures, and eventual recreational/access rights. There were so many things included here of which I was utterly unaware (my previous education seems to have been sorely lacking especially concerning neolithic through iron age encampments and military movements) as well as a fascinating and exciting (really truly!) recounting of the Right to Roam movement of the area in the 19th and 20th centuries. 

My biggest takeaway here was the impressive breadth and comprehensiveness of the included information - it's a truly splendid testimony to the author's competence and deep familiarity with his subject. I can easily imagine that he was a fascinating and very knowledgeable lecturer.

Although there are no chapter notes or annotations, the author has included a fairly comprehensive bibliography and cross referenced index. The book contains numerous photographs and charts to support and illustrate the salient points. 

This would be a good choice for readers of local history, public or home library use, cooperative/hikers/ramblers groups, Bed & Breakfast accommodations - especially those which cater to ramblers, and writers researching the area and history for background.  

Five stars. 

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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