Monday, 3 March 2008


My name is Paul Kingsnorth, and I'm a writer, environmentalist, journalist and poet. My new book, Real England, is published on 10th April, and this site is its cyberspace companion.

The book is an account of a journey I took through my home country - a country that is being colonised and homogenised by corporate power, an over-centralised state, money and indifference. It's a nation of clone towns, second homes, superstores, privatised streets and disintegrating local cultures. But it's also a nation of people resisting these trends, and of places that stubbornly refuse to have their character erased in the name of progress. I went searching for the real England: I found it, and my book is about how it can survive and why it should.

I'll be updating this blog regularly - not just with news about the book itself and accompanying events and articles, but with discussions, arguments, links and doubtless a few rants relating to the issues covered in the book. I'd like it to turn into a place to talk about all things English: political, cultural, geographical, historical. Come and help make it happen.

In the meantime, the links on the left allow you to read an extract from the book, have a look at some of the early reviews (many more to come I hope), catch up with events planned around it (ditto) - and, of course, buy it (which is obviously the most important bit).

More from me soon as this blog gets up to speed.


Danny said...

Dear Paul,

I'm looking forward to this book - the theme seems to resonate strongly with what's happening in Oxford right now. As I'm sure you know, the Council has approved a plan to triple the size of the Westgate Shopping Centre, creating a monstrous mega-mall in the middle of a historic University town.

However, local resistance has been building fast ever since the Council starting hacking down city centre trees in January - see for the full story, which includes tree-sitting, forced evictions, sham consultations, floods, tree-spiking, legal challenges, crap arrests and spontaneous demonstrations by emo kids with skateboards. We're coming up with alternative proposals for the site, and there's a chance that we might even win...

It'd be great if you felt like getting involved and maybe blogging about it at some point - let us know (via the westgatewatch website) if you want more info.

Good luck with the book!


Englisc Fyrd said...

I'm also looking forward to your book. I think it's great you have taken the time to write this and highlight the plight of our culture and environment.

Good luck with your project!

Sarah said...

Glad to hear it's out, I will go and order it in my library.

I look forward to reading it.

Paul said...

Would love to Danny - have mentioned the Westgate in passing in the book, in fact, and plenty of other Oxford-related horrors too. It's happening everywhere.

Sarah and Englisc - I hope you enjoy it! Do spread the word if you do.