This new collection of short and some longer stories by Mark Valentine explores ‘the Real Map of England’, the strange corners of a haunted country. Why is there a Roman altar to the god of the crossroads in a Herefordshire church? What is the significance of a book of tide tables and a shack on the Lincolnshire coast? What is it that waves from a motorway bridge? Where are the ‘veiled republics’, the citadels of an alternative history? What happens when children enact a ritual in the overgrown fig garden?
These beguiling stories evoke the possibility that there are places where we may encounter another reality, rich, mysterious, sometimes alluring, sometimes perilous.
Two of the stories are previously unpublished: others have appeared in anthologies that are now out of print or in periodicals in small editions. The author provides an afterword explaining the inspiration for the book.