Steeple Chasing: Around Britain by Church (Hardcover)

Steeple Chasing: Around Britain by Church By Peter Ross Cover Image
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'Never have the joys of exploring the churches and cathedrals of this country been so vividly conveyed as they are in this engaging and elegiac book.' - New Statesman **BOOK OF THE YEAR pick 2023**

'A delicious treat'
- Financial Times **TRAVEL BOOK OF THE YEAR pick 2023**

'
A charming odyssey' - The Times

'A wonderful book; thoughtful and challenging'
- Daily Telegraph *****

'A beautiful book' - Gabriel Byrne

'Beautiful and brilliant. I loved it' - Fergus Butler-Gallie

From the author of A Tomb With a View - Scottish Non-Fiction book of the Year

Churches are all around us. Their steeples remain landmarks in our towns, villages and cities, even as their influence and authority has waned. They contain art and architectural wonders - one huge gallery scattered, like a handful of jewels, across these isles.

Award-winning writer Peter Ross sets out to tell their stories, and through them a story of Britain. Join him as he visits the unassuming Norfolk church which contains a disturbing secret, and London's mighty cathedrals with their histories of fire and love. Meet cats and bats, monks and druids, angels of oak and steel.

Steeple Chasing, though it sometimes strikes an elegiac note, is a song of praise. It celebrates churches for their beauty and meaning, and for the tales they tell. It is about people as much as place, flesh and bone not just flint and stone. From the painted hells of Surrey to the holy wells of Wales, consider this a travel book . . . with bells on.

Praise for Peter Ross

'Ross is a wonderfully evocative writer, deftly capturing a sense of place and history, while bringing a deep humanity to his subject. He has written a delightful book.' - The Guardian

'Fascinating . . . Ross makes a likeably idiosyncratic guide and one finishes the book feeling strangely optimistic about the inevitable.' - The Observer

'The author's humanity has acted as a beacon of light in the darkness.' - The Sunday Times

About the Author


Peter Ross is an Orwell journalism fellow. His writing has appeared in national newspapers and magazines in the UK and US. His most recent work, A Tomb With A View: The Stories & Glories of Graveyards, won the non-fiction prize at Scotland's National Book Awards. He is also author of the collections Daunderlust and The Passion Of Harry Bingo. He lives in Glasgow.

Praise For…


What makes Steeple Chasing so compelling - and it is a wonderful book; thoughtful and challenging - ... is Ross's essential kindness, his unfailing empathy with the people he meets on his pilgrimage.—Daily Telegraph

A charming odyssey . . . in this lyrical love letter to churches Ross reminds us there is something worth saving and people who will make the effort.—The Times

His book is a delicious treat, and one that both believers and sceptics will enjoy.—Financial Times

Reading a book is another reciprocal act: if it's good, it stays with you. Ross's readers will have his words humming through them for a long time.—Spectator

Lovely, lyrical, whimsical, elegiac ... Ross has a gift for making you feel you're there with him, just as awed as he is.—Times Literary Supplement

Ross has always had a quiet charm, and it is perhaps displayed best in this book. . . it is properly interested in humanity, especially in its complexity.—Scotsman

Steeple Chasing is, as you might expect from Ross, itself a beautiful object, full of delicacy and deliberation in the writing. . .a fascinating, beautifully written book full of both the strange and the terrible, but also full of grace and love.—Herald Scotland

Beautifully observed and evocatively written.—Country Life

Never less than fascinating.—Books From Scotland


Product Details
ISBN: 9781472281920
ISBN-10: 1472281926
Publisher: Headline
Publication Date: October 31st, 2023
Pages: 352
Language: English