Beechcombings : The Narratives Of Trees
In 1987, the greatest English storm for three centuries laid flat fifteen million trees across southern England and devastated a nation of tree-lovers. The storm marked a turning point in our perception of trees and a dawning realisation that they have lives of their own, beyond the roles and images we press on them. In Beechcombings Richard Mabey traces the long history of the beech tree throughout Europe, writing about the bluebells, orchids, fungi, deer and badgers associated with them, the narratives we tell about trees and the images we make of them. It is an engrossing, exciting, poetical and profound book that will stimulate debate about man's relationship with nature and enchant the reader.
- Paperback | 304 pages
- 129 x 198 x 20mm | 239g
- 01 Oct 2008
- London, United Kingdom
"Wonderfully subversive, far-reaching and unsentimental"
`Wonderfully subversive, far-reaching and unsentimental` Observer `Richard Mabey is a man for all seasons, most regions and every kind of landscape` -- Andrew Motion Financial Times `Beechcombings is a treasure trove of fact and anecdote linked to the beech tree... By the time you have reached the end of the book you will have accumulated an encyclopaedic knowledge of the uses and merits of different timbers and you will have an extensive list of locations to visit. A welcome present` -- Michael Heseltine Spectator `The latest book from the doyen of our nature writers employs a key critical concept of recent decades to explore how we really see the natural word - with fascinating results... a terrific combination of both natural and intellectual history, informed by penetrating insight` Independent `Like the woodlands itself, Beechcombings operates on many levels... Busting out is a leaf-storm of philosophical musings, journeys of mind and body, reflections and anecdotes that imprint the tree on human culture` Sunday Times
About Richard Mabey
Among Richard Mabey's acclaimed publications are Food for Free (his first book and never out of print), Gilbert White (Whitbread Biography of the Year) and the ground-breaking bestseller Flora Britannica, which won the British Book Awards' Illustrated Book of the Year and the Botanical Society of the British Isles' President's Award and was runner-up for the BP Natural World Book Prize. He collaborated on Birds Britannica (which was his idea) and his most recent book, Nature Cure, described as 'A brilliant, candid and heartfelt memoir', had such wide appeal that it was shortlisted for no fewer than four prestigious prizes: the Whitbread Biography, the J.R. Ackerley for autobiography, Mind (for its investigation into depression) and the Ondaatje for the evocation of the spirit of place. Richard Mabey was born and brought up among the beech woods of the Chilterns, and now lives in Norfolk.