Matthew Kelly is professor of modern history at Northumbria University. He is the author of Finding Poland: From Tavistock to Hurzdowa and Back Again and Quartz and Feldspar: Dartmoor-A British Landscape in Modern Times.
As Kelly demonstrates, the achievements of these four preservationists deserve to be remembered and indeed celebrated...Kelly's book is rich with insights into their motivations...As well as exploring their lives and activism, Kelly guides the reader through the landscapes that they fought to preserve. -PD Smith, The Guardian Matthew Kelly celebrates four women whose work created the organisations and attitudes to conservation we take for granted today...I am proud to have worked in their shadows and grateful to Prof Kelly for telling their stories. -Fiona Reynolds, Country Life 'At last, the full and proper place of these women in the narrative of English conservation is established. And how much we can learn from them! As Kelly describes in his meticulously researched book, revealing intricate detail and fresh insight with every page, each was driven by a mix of personal passion, moral fervour and a sharp and often piercing intellect. We owe them so much. And now, thanks to Matthew Kelly, their story is told.'-Dame Fiona Reynolds, Former Director General of the National Trust 'The National Trust owes a debt particularly to Octavia Hill and Beatrix Potter, and the work we do today stands on the shoulders of all that they made possible. What unites all four women's stories is the firm belief in the benefits of nature for people. That's a mission with enduring relevance, and it drives me now just as it drove Octavia in the 19th century. -Hilary McGrady, Director General of the National Trust 'A fascinating account of four courageous women who, often against the odds, helped to save the countryside and our access to it. This important book describes their motivations, influence, frustrations, and victories-and ensures that they are not forgotten.'-Kate Ashbrook, General Secretary of the Open Spaces Society