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Event: James Canton in conversation with John Buchanan

Event: James Canton in conversation with John Buchanan

Posted on 19th January, 2023
Category: News

We’re thrilled to invite you to our first event of 2023!

Join us on Wednesday 8th February for an evening talk and book signing with James Canton on his new book, Grounded: A Journey into the Landscapes of Our Ancestors. James will be joined by John Buchanan, author of Wildlife of Maldon. Both authors’ books will be available to purchase at the event, with the opportunity to have your books signed by the authors too.

About the book…

For thousands of years, our ancestors held a close connection with the landscapes they lived in. They imbued it with meaning: stone monuments, sacred groves, places of pilgrimage. In our modern world we have rather lost that enchantment and intimate knowledge of place.

James Canton takes us on a journey through England seeking to see through more ancient eyes, to understand what landscape meant to those that came before us. We visit stone circles, the West Kennet long barrow, a Crusader round church and sites of religious visions. We meet the Dagenham Idol and the intricately carved Lion Man figure. We find artefacts buried in farmers’ fields. There is history and meaning encoded into the lands and places we live in, if only we take the time to look.

Our natural world has never been under more threat. If we relocate our sense of wonder, veneration and awe in the landscapes we live in, we might just be better at saving it.

Dr James Canton is Director of Wild Writing at the University of Essex. He is the author of The Oak Papers (2020), Ancient Wonderings: Journeys into Prehistoric Britain (2017) and Out of Essex: Re-Imagining a Literary Landscape (2013), which was inspired by his rural wanderings in East Anglia. He has written for the Guardian, reviews for the TLS and Caught by the River, and is a regular on television and radio.

John Buchanan, author of Wildlife of Maldon, has lived in Maldon for over twenty years. A lifelong birdwatcher, throughout this time he found the exploration of local wildlife to be a welcome antidote to the challenges of his career in the automotive industry- the sea wall was his garden shed!

Leaving full time work in 2020 allowed him time to finish and publish a book on Maldon’s wildlife, aimed at increasing general awareness of the amazing species that live on our doorstep. Based on two decades of observation, Wildlife of Maldon looks at the changing seasons and the species found in Maldon throughout the year, from butterflies to seals and from orchids to barn owls. John is now actively supporting a number of local initiatives directed at making the future of the area’s wildlife more secure.

About the event…

As always, this event will take place upstairs at 7.00pm in The Blue Boar’s function room, The Long Room. Tickets are £5 each, and can be purchased via EventBrite here or directly in the shop. Please use your receipt of purchase as your ticket. James and John’s books will also be available to purchase at the event, though do get in touch if you would like to reserve one ahead of time. If you have any queries, please do get in touch with us directly. Our telephone number is 01621 854968, or feel free to email