On Silbury Hill by Adam Thorpe

A Radio Four Book of the Week

‘Fascinating’ Hilary Mantel

Remarkable and Moving.’ William Boyd

Silbury Hill in Wiltshire has perplexed people for generations. Was it once an island, moated by water? Was it a place of worship, of ritual, of celebration, perhaps a way of marking the seasons’ passing? Along with Stonehenge and nearby Avebury, was it part of a healing landscape or a physical memory of the long dead?

In On Silbury Hill, Adam Thorpe posits that the mysterious hill is the sum of all we project onto it – a blank screen where human dreams and nightmares flicker. The hill has been a part of Thorpe’s life since his schooldays at Marlborough, a place he could escape to. Since then, wherever he has lived, in England, France and to Cameroon, Thorpe has carried Silbury with him. Now, thirty years after the publication of his landmark novel Ulverton, he returns once more to the landscape that inspired him, creating a monumental chalkland memoir, assembled from fragments, skilfully built from the ancient past.

A tenth anniversary paperback edition with a new jacket, published on midsummer’s day 2024.

Published 24 June 2024, orders will be recorded and sent out on publication.


In stock


Adam Thorpe was born in 1965 and was brought up in India and southern England. His first poetry collection was published in 1988 and was shortlisted for the Whitbread Poetry Prize. His novel Ulverton, was published in 1992 to great acclaim. He is a noted novelist, poet and travel writer.

Additional information

Weight500 g


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