Whitstable Reviews: The Humanoid Landscape by Fen Lander


Christopher James Stone


On Sunday 28th of August 2011 there was a Lightwaves festival in the Umbrella Centre on Oxford Street Whitstable.

I mention this for two reasons: firstly because I don’t think there had ever been such a thing in Whitstable before (or since) and secondly because my friend Joe Fenlon (pen name, Fen Lander) gave a talk on the Kentish Zodiac, and on his book, The Humanoid Landscape, which was launched that day.

Fen was the first speaker, at 10.30 in the main hall.

A lot of you will know Fen. He’s a Whitstable institution. A bit like the Dead Horse Morris, but without the bells, he’s been investigating the ancient past in this region for as long as I’ve known him. First it was the Whitstable alignment, then the Kentish Zodiac, but lately something new and wondrous has entered his conversation.

He lived in a shed in someone’s garden for about ten years. It was during this time that he came up with the idea for this book.

Crazy wood elf

I remember popping in to see him one day. This must have been about fifteen years ago now. He was in the garden, painting a picture. The picture was composed half of a map of the British Isles, and half of a figure like a baby which he was inscribing into the landscape.

“It’s really there, it’s really there,” he was saying, vehemently, leaping about in his bare feet like some crazy wood elf who’s consumed too much blackberry wine.

He was a bit like a mad professor, he says, shuttered away in that shed of his, with his compass and his maps, and his Anglo-Saxon dictionary, making huge leaps of the imagination, to come up with this fabulously deranged idea of his.

I won’t tell you what it is. You should buy the book to find out.

Suffice it to say that the book is unusual, written in a colloquial style, and that I guarantee you’ve never read anything quite like it before.

I already have my copy.

Fen Lander link



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