I loved the excellent Romantic Moderns: English Writers, Artists and the Imagination from Virginia Woolf to John Piper by Alexandra Harris (there's a post on it here, and a bit more here), so I am delighted to hear that Alexandra has another book coming out soon.
Weatherland: Writers and Artists Under English Skies is "the story of English culture over a thousand years told through the creative responses to the weather. Writers and artists across the centuries, from Chaucer to Ian McEwan, and from the creator of the Luttrell Psalter in the 14th. century to John Piper in the 20th., looking up at the same skies and walking in the same brisk air, have felt very different things and woven them into their novels, poems and paintings.
The weather is vast and yet we experience it intimately, which is why Alexandra Harris builds her remarkable story from small evocative details. There is the drawing of a 12th. century man in February, warming bare toes by the fire. There is the tiny glass left behind from the Frost Fair of 1864, and the 'Sunspan' house in Angmering that embodies the bright ambitions of the 1930s. Harris catches the distinct voices of compelling individuals. 'Bloody cold', says Jonathan Swift in the 'slobbery' January of 1713. Percy Shelley wants to become a cloud, and John Ruskin wants to bottle one.
Weatherland is both a sweeping panorama of cultural climates on the move and an intimate account rich with evocative details - for although weather, like culture, is vast, it is experienced physically, emotionally and spiritually; as Harris so cleverly reveals, it is at the very core of what it means to be English."
Out in September.