literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature

Robert Macfarlane: Underland

The author of The Lost Words takes us on a voyage into our planet’s past and future with his highly anticipated new book in a London-exclusive event.

Underland is an epic exploration of the Earth's underworlds as they exist in myth, literature, memory and the land itself. In this sequel to his international bestseller The Old Ways, Robert Macfarlane takes us on an unforgettable journey into our relationship with darkness, burial and our planet's past and future.

Travelling through ‘deep time’ – the dizzying expanses of geologic time that stretch away from the present – we move from the origins of the universe to a post-human Earth, passing along the way through Bronze Age burial chambers, the catacombs of Paris, Greenland's melting glaciers, starless rivers, Arctic sea-caves, the underground fungal networks through which trees communicate, and a deep-sunk ‘hiding place’ designed to store nuclear waste for 100,000 years to come.

Global in its geography, contemporary in its concerns, and written with great lyricism and power, Underland uncovers our complex, crucial involvements with what lies beneath. At once ancient and urgent book, it marks a new turn in Macfarlane's long-term mapping of the relationships between landscape and the human heart.

Underland is a book that will change the way you see the world.

Robert Macfarlane is the author of Mountains of the Mind, The Wild Places, The Old Ways, Landmarks, and The Lost Words, co-created with Jackie Morris. Mountains of the Mind won the Guardian First Book Award and the Somerset Maugham Award and The Wild Places won the Boardman-Tasker Award. Both books have been adapted for television by the BBC. The Lost Words won the Books Are My Bag Beautiful Book Award and the Hay Festival Book of the Year.

He is a Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and writes on environmentalism, literature and travel for publications including The Guardian, the Sunday Times and the New York Times.

Macfarlane has invented a new kind of book, really a new genre entirely
The Irish Times
He is the great nature writer, and nature poet, of this generation
Wall Street Journal

Dates & times

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Purcell Room


Booking fee: £3.00 (Members £0.00)


25% off (limited availability)
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Age recommendation
For ages 16+