Julia Blackburn in conversation

Julia Blackburn has always collected things that hold stories about the very distant past, as she trawls the Suffolk coastline near her home: mammoth bones, two million years old shells, a flint sharpened into a weapon.

Her new book brings many of these stories together as it tells of the creation, the existence and the loss of a country now called Doggerland, a huge and fertile area that once connected the entire east coast of England with mainland Europe, until it was finally submerged by rising sea levels around 5000 BC.

Fragments from Julia's own life feature alongside a series of eighteen ‘songs’ and stories about the places and people she meets in her quest to get closer to an understanding of Doggerland.

She sees the footprints of early humans fossilised in the soft mud of an estuary alongside the scattered pockmarks made by rain falling eight thousand years ago. She visits a cave where the remnants of a Neanderthal meal have turned to stone. In Denmark she sits beside Tollund Man who seems to be about to wake from a dream, even though he has lain in a peat bog since the start of the Iron Age.

This is a stunning book and Julia is a fascinating speaker. Come and meet her at Browsers Bookshop. Tickets are £25 to include a copy of Time Song (RRP £25) or £10 without.

Book cover: