Guy Stagg

What’s to become of Wales?

In recent years, more and more nature writers have begun to engage with the climate crisis. On the one hand, they want to raise awareness of the scale of the problem; on the other, they try to make more tangible those apocalyptic visions of the future. In Sarn Helen, Tom Bullough asks how the crisis

How the travel industry convinced us we needed holidays

In September 2019, Thomas Cook filed for compulsory liquidation, leaving 600,000 customers stranded abroad. It was a sorry end to a company that had lasted 178 years and survived both world wars. Founded by a Baptist preacher who began organising railway trips to Midland cities for local temperance societies, the company grew into one of

The ghostly ruins of vanished Britain

Take a walk in the English countryside and you get the impression that little has changed. The churches and farmhouses, the hedgerows and footpaths – much of this has been preserved for centuries. However, as Matthew Green argues in Shadowlands, there is also a history of lost towns and abandoned villages hidden beneath the tranquil

What is it like to be worshipped as a god in one’s lifetime?

In January 1780 the news reached London that Captain Cook had been killed and eaten in Hawaii. The story of his death was met with morbid fascination by the general public, inspiring paintings, poems and even a ballet. This ballet was so violent that one of the dancers accidentally stabbed another during the scene of

Pilgrimage is beginning to resemble any other kind of holiday

Hidden away in the Old City of Jerusalem is a tattoo parlour which has been serving pilgrims for the past 700 years. The Razzouk family parlour near the Jaffa Gate claims to have been inking crosses into travellers’ skins since the 1300s. True or not, it’s a good example of how contemporary pilgrimage sites draw