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The recent rise of 'new nature writing' has renewed the question of how a landscape can be written. This book intervenes in this debate by proposing innovative methodologies for writing place that recognize and make use of the contradictions, fractures and coincidences found in a modern landscape. In doing so, it develops original readings of modernist artists and writers who were associated with the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset, including Vanessa Bell, Paul Nash, Eric Benfield and Mary Butts. Their work is set alongside embodied practices of leisure and labour such as sea bathing, beachcombing, quarrying, tourism and scientific fieldwork, as well as the material and geological features of the environment with which such activities are allied. By showing the Isle of Purbeck to be a site where versions of modernity were actively generated and contested, the book contributes to a reassessment of the significance of rural locations for English modernism.