City-dweller Richard Lewis has been having a problem with roots.
His, he means. It would have been so much more romantic if he had been born in Dublin or Marseille.
But what if you're simply from Croydon? What hope for romance then? Starting with the conviction that England must have a folklore as compelling, as exotic and as beautiful as that of other places, Lewis embarks on a search for traditional roots that takes him well off the beaten track, from the humble folk clubs of the fenlands, across the Yorkshire moors via the Morris-dancing Cotswolds to a magic circle of druids deep beneath the Forest of Dean.
The Magic Spring seeks to not only dispel some myths about English traditions, but to tell the story of their creation, to examine why they persist and how they connect to the modern land.
Lewis follows the changing seasons, digs into his own past and discovers not only a deep affinity with his country, but also, in a climax on the Isle of Avalon, that roots are less about where you're from than he thought.