Books · Read in 2022 · Reviews

Book Thoughts: The Moor (William Atkins) Non-Fiction

Not quite as interesting as I expected it to be


Title: The Moor: A Journey into the English Wilderness
Author: William Atkins
Genre: Non-Fiction / History / Nature
First published: 2014
Edition: Paperback, published by Faber & Faber in 2015

In this journey across England’s most forbidding and mysterious terrain, William Atkins takes the reader from south to north, exploring moorland’s uniquely captivating position in our history, literature and psyche. Atkins’ journey is full of encounters, busy with the voices of the moors, past and present. He shows us that, while the fierce terrains we associate with Wuthering Heights and The Hound of the Baskervilles are very human landscapes, the moors remain daunting and defiant, standing steadfast against the passage of time.


I honestly expected a book on the most famous of English landscapes would be really interesting, but in the end I was quite disappointed by this one.

It starts out well and I did enjoy some of the literary references. In fact, the original subtitle of this book is ‘Lives, Landscape, Literature’ and I think that was a better description of this book. It was not so much about the wilderness as about the people and lives that were influenced by it. Some of the history was interesting and other bits really was not and I found myself skipping over paragraphs, which is never a good thing.

This just felt a bit all over the place without a clear purpose of what the author was trying to achieve. The premise sounded so interesting, but I found myself just not that interested in much of the information the author chose to focus on. Besides, in places it felt like he was trying too hard to be ‘a writer’.

I am sure there are people who would enjoy this and overall it certainly was not bad, but the subject matter was just not for me. I am just a little disappointed.

4 out of 7 stars

2 thoughts on “Book Thoughts: The Moor (William Atkins) Non-Fiction

  1. This book might actually be for me. When we went to England last, we had a family debate over which kind of moor we wanted to see–the Bronte moor, or the Sherlock Holmes moor. We finally decided on the Bronte one because it fit in better geographically with the rest of our plans for a literary tour.

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