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Beechcombings: The narratives of trees

Richard Mabey

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Published by Vintage Digital, part of Vintage Publishing

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Format: ebook


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EAN: 9781448114665
Published: 4 Sep 2010


About the book


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.

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What the critics say

Wonderfully subversive, far-reaching and unsentimental
- Observer

It is not surprising that the most exceptional of plants should generate some of the most exceptional books. After Roger Deakin's lyrical valediction, A Journey through Trees, Richard Mabey has produced an equally resonant work devoted to a single species, the 'fascinatingly awkward' beech. In language as sinewy as Ted Hughes's poetry, Mabey provides a vivid close-up of a massive, pollarded example near Berkhamsted, known as the Queen Beech... 'Wild, unmanaged trees show us possibilities beyond our cultural tunnel-vision,' he writes. In this impressive and enjoyable work, Mabey does the same.'
- Independent

About the Author

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.

Richard Mabey

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