Employing a large format 5×4 camera and a detached, distant eye, Simon Roberts gives us England as a vast expanse of towering sky and rolling land against which its people, engaged in in their leisure pursuits, are industrious specks.
From Skegness Beach to Cornwall via Lingmell Fell in Cumbria, pretty much all of England is covered and the photos presented range from the epic in scale to the almost close-up (such as the racecourse at Epsom or the picnickers at Chatsworth House).
My personal favourite is the start of the Maidstone Young Bird National Pigeon Race — the flock forming a new strata between land and sky, watched on by a few stick figures … and us.
It’s all rather wonderful. A change from the more common pictorials of England in which people are either dispensed with entirely or shown defiantly trying to create a patch of ground that is theirs. This is England as a shared and beautiful place – it’ll never catch on.
The only downside is that the book costs £40 so I’ll be waiting for the paperback.