The Old Weird Albion. A Journey Into the Heart of the English South
- Penned in the Margins
- 2017 ISBN 9781908058379
- 254 pages
- 21.5 × 14 × 2 cm
“A woman stands at the edge of a cliff, looking out to sea and the horizon. Dancers welcome the Sun in a circle of trees. A dowsing rod turns without warning. A church bell. Footsteps.”
The Old Weird Albion is conceived as a series of movements across the South Downs of Hampshire and Sussex; a poetic essay interrogating the high, haunted landscape of the English South.
Justin Hopper traces memories, myths and forgotten histories from Winchester to Beachy Head, joining New Age eccentrics and accidental visionaries on the hunt for crop circles, ancient chalk figures and eerie suburbs: the ruins of prehistoric pasts and utopian futures. Hopper casts himself as the outsider – an American initiate searching for an English heritage – and mixes doubt with desire in pursuit of mystical encounters in the Downs.
Illustrated by Mairead Dunne. Cover artwork by Leah Fusco.
Justin Hopper is a writer of landscape, memory and myth. His journalism, poetry, audio projects and curated exhibitions have appeared in both his native USA and adopted UK home. He lives in Constable Country with his partner and their son.
The Old Weird Albion is beautifully well-written and easily read; the stories come quickly and suggestively and the descriptions of the various locales and journeys through them are fresh, vivid and engaging … This book is warmest when its bells ring without explanation, when the Goddess mutters a banality in a dream, when ghosts flash in the corner of vision and then flee. Phil Smith, Mythogeography
The Old Weird Albion achieves something important – it changes the way we can look at the landscape … part travelogue, part ‘psychogeography’, at times haunting, at times poetic. The Hampshire Chronicle
Beautiful and compelling writing … more personal and sensitive than most psycho-geography manages to be. Layla Legard
I cannot recommend warmly enough Justin Hopper’s new book The Old Weird Albion which I have just devoured at a single sitting. Anyone who knows or has walked any of the Sussex Downs will adore this book. Lyrical, mystical and deeply connected. Tom Flynn @artnose