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Hills and the Sea

Hilaire Belloc

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .nder sober and temperate skies, catches the mind and clothes it with a sense of the strange. And of these emotions the strongest, perhaps, is that which most of those who travel to-day go seeking; the enchantment of mountains; the air by which we know them for something utterly different from high hills. Accustomed to the contour of downs and tors, or to the valleys and long slopes that introduce a range, we come to some wider horizon and see, far off, a further line of hills. To hills all the mind is attuned: a moderate ecstasy. The clouds are above the hills, lying level in the empty sky; men and their ploughs have visited, it seems, all the land about us; till, suddenly, faint but hard, a cloud less varied, a greyer portion of the infinite sky itself, is seen to be permanent above the world. Then all our grasp of the wide view breaks down. We change. The valleys and the tiny towns, the unseen mites of men, the gleams or thread of roads, a. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Best prologue to a book I have ever read.

Good book of belloc essays. Belloc was a great nature writer amongst other things. his descriptions of the natural environment as part of travel narratives is inspiring and entertaining.

My husband read this to me. Turns out Belloc is a wonderful travel writer, and somewhat of a kindred spirit of mine on preferring small, hidden places largely undiscovered by the traveling public, yet glorious and worthwhile in their quiet beauty. He is particularly fond of the Pyrenees, and his bit

Essays of Belloc’s travels, sometimes by boat, sometimes on his horse, Monster, but mainly on foot, around Europe, often in the footsteps of Charlemagne.

“A little tower there, jutting out perilously from the wall, shows three courses of a small red brick set in a mortar-like stone. When I saw this k

Surprisingly well written essays. There is no particular theme to these short essays. They deal with sailing on the English channel, war experiences in France, the Fens, and an interesting account of how to properly cut hay with a scythe. Belloc is a conservative Catholic and it shows, but he is als