Losing Eden

Losing Eden : Why Our Minds Need the Wild

4.4 (47 ratings by Goodreads)
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'Beautifully written, movingly told and meticulously researched ... a convincing plea for a wilder, richer world' Isabella Tree, author of Wilding

'By the time I'd read the first chapter, I'd resolved to take my son into the woods every afternoon over winter. By the time I'd read the sixth, I was wanting to break prisoners out of cells and onto the mossy moors. Losing Eden rigorously and convincingly tells of the value of the natural universe to our human hearts' Amy Liptrot, author of The Outrun

Today many of us live indoor lives, disconnected from the natural world as never before. And yet nature remains deeply ingrained in our language, culture and consciousness. For centuries, we have acted on an intuitive sense that we need communion with the wild to feel well. Now, in the moment of our great migration away from the rest of nature, more and more scientific evidence is emerging to confirm its place at the heart of our psychological wellbeing. So what happens, asks acclaimed journalist Lucy Jones, as we lose our bond with the natural world-might we also be losing part of ourselves?

Delicately observed and rigorously researched, Losing Eden is an enthralling journey through this new research, exploring how and why connecting with the living world can so drastically affect our health. Travelling from forest schools in East London to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault via primeval woodlands, Californian laboratories and ecotherapists' couches, Jones takes us to the cutting edge of human biology, neuroscience and psychology, and discovers new ways of understanding our increasingly dysfunctional relationship with the earth.

Urgent and uplifting, Losing Eden is a rallying cry for a wilder way of life - for finding asylum in the soil and joy in the trees - which might just help us to save the living planet, as well as ourselves.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 272 pages
  • 162 x 240 x 27mm | 480g
  • ALLEN LANE
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0241441536
  • 9780241441534
  • 102,250

Review quote

A commendably impartial book ... expresses [Jones's] sincere love of the countryside and the animals in it * Literary Review * Brave, bold and honest - finally the truth about foxes -- Chris Packham A fascinating discussion of the history of our attitude to the fox ... it will almost certainly teach you something new * The Spectator * Beautifully written and signals a conspicuous new talent ... She traces the place of the fox in our culture over many centuries * Daily Telegraph * Fascinating ... [a] well-balanced exploration of our tempestuous relationship * Country Life * A foxy little book, offering a rich brew of nature and history and culture. An exemplary instance of fine research leading to balance and sanity on a subject usually lacking in either. Deeply enjoyable and informative -- Sara Maitland, author of Gossip from the Forest: The Tangled Roots of Our Forests and Fairytales A fantastic tour of the fox and us - Lucy Jones takes an intelligent, measured and humane look at the intimate, contradictory and occasionally crazy relationship between Homo sapiens and Vulpes vulpes -- Patrick Barkham, author of Badgerlands and The Butterfly Isles The fox has for centuries been held as the incarnation of such unlovely traits as deviousness, cunning and cruelty. ... However, the characteristic that emerges most strongly from the nature writer Lucy Jones's book about Vulpes vulpes is its ambiguity. ... [An] intriguing compendium of fox lore -- Michael Prodger * The Times * Jones writes with real feeling about the hold of foxes on the human imagination, and her own deep affection for the beguiling creatures * Daily Mail * Jones's history of our complex relationship with the fox is revealing... to discover there was an 18th-century sport of 'fox tossing' almost makes this worth the purchase alone -- John Lewis-Stempel * The Times Books of the Year 2016 * Praise for FOXES UNEARTHED * : * Fascinating ... the connection between mental health and the natural world turns out to be strong and deep - which is good news in that it offers those feeling soul-sick the possibility that falling in love with the world around them might be remarkably helpful. And those who fall in love with the world might protect it, a virtuous cycle that would make a real difference in the fight for a workable planet. * Bill McKibben, author of Falter; Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out? * By the time I'd read the first chapter, I'd resolved to take my son into the woods every afternoon over winter. By the time I'd read the sixth, I was wanting to break prisoners out of cells and onto the mossy moors. Losing Eden rigorously and convincingly tells of the value of the natural universe to our human hearts. It's a simple message but Lucy Jones looks at it by using so many interesting and diverse ideas and places that it always stays vital. It is exciting, pertinent and elegantly written: I recommend it to anyone who makes decisions. * Amy Liptrot, author of The Outrun * Beautifully written, movingly told and meticulously researched, Losing Eden is an elegy to the healing power of nature, something we need more than ever in our anxiety-ridden world of ecological loss. Woven together with her own personal story of recovery, Lucy Jones lays out the overwhelming scientific evidence for nature as nurturer for body and soul with the clarity and candour that will move hearts and minds - a convincing plea for a wilder, richer world. * Isabella Tree, author of Wilding * An absorbing book...more than just a scientific treatise: Jones writes beautifully about nature and her own experiences of its healing powers * Country and Townhouse * Losing Eden provides the evidence of how nature makes us calmer, healthier, happier, even kinder. Jones moves between close biological evidence -- how our parasympathetic nervous system is triggered when we're in nature, how bacteria found in soil increases stress resilience -- to large-scale environmental studies. The book is shot through with personal experience [...but is] not really a memoir; it's about all of us. * TLS * Urgent, accessible, moving ... A beautifully written, research-heavy study about how nature offers us wellbeing * Observer * The benefits of experiencing nature may be far greater than is commonly appreciated ... A fascinating exploration of the new science of our connection to the natural world ... written in such lush, vivid prose that reading it, one can feel transported and restored. * New Statesman * Earnest, painstakingly-researched...A heartfelt love-letter to the outdoors * Daily Mail *
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About Lucy Jones

Lucy Jones is a writer and journalist based in Hampshire, England. She previously worked at NME and the Daily Telegraph, and her writing on culture, science and nature has been published in BBC Earth, BBC Wildlife, The Sunday Times, the Guardian and the New Statesman. Her first book, Foxes Unearthed, was celebrated for its 'brave, bold and honest' (Chris Packham) account of our relationship with the fox, winning the Society of Authors' Roger Deakin Award 2015.
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Rating details

47 ratings
4.4 out of 5 stars
5 53% (25)
4 38% (18)
3 4% (2)
2 4% (2)
1 0% (0)
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