The “Hills above Pietermaritzburg” by Peter Alcock is a scholarly piece of “histo-geography” dealing with the main hills that form the Pietermaritzburg skyline (looking from Scottsville in a north westerly direction), from Signal Hill in the West to Bishopstowe in the East. It deals with the land, the people, the water, the vegetation and the history and is meticulously referenced. Much has been written about Pietermaritzburg as a city, although there is little information available on the hills surrounding Pietermaritzburg. It is the hills which give Pietermaritzburg a distinct “sense of place”, and which also influence the local climate.
Peter Alcock has several academic interests ranging from water issues to South African indigenous knowledge involving natural systems. He has published two books on the latter topic and is considering a third book. Peter’s interests extend to some aspects of the geography and history of Pietermaritzburg.