Stone Will Answer

A Journey Guided by Craft, Myth and Geology

Beatrice Searle author


Publisher:Vintage Publishing

Published:9th Feb '23


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Stone Will Answer cover

A beautiful memoir, travelogue, and meditation on stone by artist and stone mason Beatrice Searle.

'What are you doing? If you don't mind me asking?'

I say that we are taking this stone to Trondheim. I continue to tell her the story of Magnus and ancient Kings.

'Would you like to stand in it?' I ask. 'That is what it is for.'

At the age of twenty-six, Beatrice Searle crossed the North sea and walked 500 miles through Southern Norway on a medieval pilgrim path to Nidaros Cathedral, taking with her a 40-kilo stone from the West coast of Orkney.

She had recently completed her masonry training at Lincoln Cathedral and become fascinated with the mysterious footprint stones of Scandinavia, Northern Europe and the ancient Greco-Roman world; stones closely associated with travellers, saints and the inauguration of Kings. Following in their footsteps, her stone becomes a talisman of sorts, a bedrock on the move, and an offering to those she meets along the way.

Stone Will Answer is an unusual adventure story of resilience and homecoming, of weight and motion, of rediscovering love and faith, and of journeys practical, spiritual and geological. A captivating blend of exploration, memoir and myth, and an insight into a beguiling craft, it asks what lessons might be learned from stone, what we choose to carry with us and what we return to put down or pick up again.

Searle is an excellent storyteller... [and Stone Will Answer] make[s] for gripping's the human spirit that emerges triumphant in this sparky blend of memoir and travelogue... Above all, this is the story of a young woman's astonishing feat of endurance * Herald *
A gifted writer, capable of luminous description * Spectator *
Illuminating... I was quickly taken in by Beatrice Searle's distinctive voice, and by the end I couldn't help but feel very differently about stones, rootedness, belonging, and indeed what walking might mean. Beatrice's story is exceptional, and she is an exceptional story teller. -- Kerri Andrews, author of Wandering: A History of Women Walking
A magnificent book. Written with the eye of a poet and the heart of an artist, Stone Will Answer is both a moving account of an unconventional journey and a testament to the power of stone in finding anchorage in an uncertain world -- Alex Woodcock, author of King of Dust
A story of dedication and tenacity that is deeply moving and utterly captivating. Stone Will Answer is a truly remarkable book, a beautifully crafted tale of an artist's extraordinary journey. Searle seamlessly contemplates the meaning of craft, ancient myths, the mutability of stone and the transformations within her own life. Its rare to read a story of such artistic integrity. I felt bereft when I finished but also buoyed by a new found fascination with stone and all its many meanings. -- Sally Huband, author of Sea Bean

ISBN: 9781787302556

Dimensions: 225mm x 145mm x 31mm

Weight: 455g

352 pages