Gareth E. Rees


First published by Influx Press in 2013, Marshland is a deep map of the east London marshes where nothing it as it seems, blending local history, folklore, and weird fiction in a genre-straddling classic of contemporary place writing.

Published 12 September 2024
ISBN: 9781914391286 Categories: , Tags: , ,


‘Layered London, black, funny, marshy, full of horrible vigour & hidden channels.’
– M. John Harrison.

Marshland is essential reading – a psychedelic trip into London’s secret wilderness.’
– John Rogers

‘I had become a bit part in the dengue-fevered fantasy of a sick city.’

Cocker spaniel by his side, Gareth E. Rees wanders the marshes of Hackney, Leyton, and Walthamstow, avoiding his family and the pressures of life.

He discovers a lost world of Victorian filter plants, ancient grazing lands, dead toy factories and tidal rivers on the edgelands of a rapidly changing city.

As strange tales of bears, crocodiles, magic narrowboats, and apocalyptic tribes begin to manifest, Rees embarks on a psychedelic journey across time and into the dark heart of London itself.

First published by Influx Press in 2013, Marshland is a deep map of the east London marshes where nothing it as it seems, blending local history, folklore, and weird fiction in a genre-straddling classic of contemporary place writing

This fully revised and expanded 2024 edition features brand-new material and never before-seen photographs from the author’s archive.

‘This idiosyncratic bumbleburst of local history, folklore and informed creativity captures the marshes as vividly as any book ever could . . . This is first-class writing that slithers between genres like an eel in a library. One day, all books will be written like this.’
– The Londonist

‘Whatever it is, New Weird, Cryptozoology, Psychogeography or Deep Map, Marshland is simply essential reading for anyone engaged in locality, the literature of place, the sociology of hinterlands, the pressure points between the human and the natural or just lovers of darned good writing.’
– Caught by the River

‘Rees is an annuated, psychogeographic Tintin, complete with Snowy, but confined by grown-up responsibilities: follow him on his adventures and you won’t go far in space but, my word, you will in every other dimension.’
– The Dabbler

‘Marshland is a delirious tapestry of tales and adventures in the marshes of London; it mixes first hand accounts of wandering with suspicious histories and wild, closed and obsessive fictions. Its initial and abrupt shifts of perspective settle quickly into a spectral ecology that weaves together its trangressive bodies of concrete history and memory with a Polaroid immediacy and yet seemingly beyond the ken of any organisation.’
– Mythogeography

‘Marshland is a rich tapestry of themes, styles and voices. Gareth Rees draws the reader in with what initially seems to be a straightforward and comfortable walking guide through the marshes of East London. Then, suddenly, he whisks us away on a magic carpet ride of myth, fiction, poetry, natural history and archaeology.’
– Psychogeographic Review

‘Marshland will make you look at your own environment in a different light.’
– MR Cosby’s Blog

‘Marshland is autobiography, psychogeography, mythogeography, history, personal journey, psychedelic discovery, even a soundtrack. Rees turns the landscape and the Lea into actors as people and nature fight back.’
– Games Monitor

‘This book is an example of what all psychedelic psychogeography should, but too often sadly fails, to be: readable and entertaining.
– Hackney Citizen

‘Like a 21st Century Kay Harker, he explores a world in which the lines between imagination and reality are continually blurred.’
– Chris Lambert, author of Tales from the Black Meadow

‘This is the kind of book I’ve been wanting to see more of from environmental writers, taking a place seriously in ALL its dimensions from the social to the artistic to the historical to the imaginative to the polluted.’
– Steve Himmer, author of The Bee-Loud Glade

‘Highly recommended hallucinogenic forage through weird London landscapes.’
– Peter Watts

‘Marshland is exemplary as an edgelands text.’
– Alluvium Journal

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