From Publishers Weekly
This thoughtful first installment in the Spiritual Traveler series will be deeply appreciated by both pilgrims and armchair travelers. While other books have toured British monasteries and churches, the Palmers go one step further by exploring the entire sacred landscape: separate chapters analyze holy wells, sacred cities and plant and animal life. The authors speak eloquently about the history of "sacred planning" in England's towns, giving examples of sites whose very layout forms an expression of Christian geomancy. The bulk of the book is given over to detailed descriptions of cathedrals, pilgrim roads, henges, druids' circles, shrines, monasteries, ruins, graveyards and martyrdom sites. The book closes with a "Multi-Faith Pilgrimage," which includes a Theravada Buddhist vihara, a Sikh Gurdwara, a Sephardic Jewish synagogue, a Muslim graveyard and other holy places. A useful glossary offers suggestions for lodgings in British retreat centers, abbeys and monasteries. Throughout the book, the authors express strong opinions, such as condemning the soulless "arrogance of recent town planning" or the cruelty that has so often been perpetuated in the name of religion. Such editorializing is unusual in a travel guide, but is not out of place here, since the guide seeks not only to introduce sacred sites but to cultivate a sacred way of seeing. (Dec.) Forecast: This is the first series to cater to the growing niche market for spiritual travel books. Its two-color design is as attractive as many other guidebooks in the travel section, with sophisticated illustrations and photographs. Expect this series to build into a full-fledged brand, with future installments planned for various regions of the U.S.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"A truly wonderful and important book. -- Daily Mail, London