In this remarkable journal of visits to Eden, Mabey transports his reader from Cornwall to the Mediterranean to the Tropics, from Old World to New, from present to personal memory, to new perspectives on our collective artistic and emotional past. Sensuous and evocative, exquisitely written, his new book challenges the reader to look differently at the world, and our place in the landscape. At the same time, Mabey is controversial in his views about what we mean by buzz words like 'renewable', or 'sustainable', and he is highly provocative in his final response to the Eden Project itself.
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Fluid and highly readable, Fencing Paradise is environmentally aware, but never preachy. Mabey dips into a broad pool of knowledge...to offer a panoramic depiction of our attempts to tame nature, and a cautionary vision of the possible consequences. - The Daily Telegraph
Mabey's lucid and very erudite 'pot-pourri of responses, recollections and free associations' was sparked off by three seasons' worth of visits to the Eden Project. The ambitious scale of that massive hothouse umbrella is reflected in the breadth of his contemplation. - Independent on Sunday
A remarkable, beautifully written, exquisite book on botanical and ecological ideas, inspired by visits to the Eden Project. Subtitled 'The Uses and Abuses of Plants', it's a gem. - The Bookseller
A terrific book...it's an engaging compendium of plant chat and history. - The Evening Standard
The author structures his book with a journey through the biotopia of the Eden Project in Cornwall, from where he darts off in history and geography to offer sparkling mini-essays on specific herbs and plants and more general matters botanical and ecological. - Guardian
Even if you're not especially interested in the Eden Project, there is plenty here to fascinate. Mabey's writing is richly evocative, his breadth of reference enormous. - FT Magazine
Fencing Paradise is nothing like a guide to the place, but to read it while visiting the Eden Project is the equivalent of adding clotted cream to strawberries. - Friends magazine
Richard Mabey was born and brought up in the Chilterns. He lived there until the late 1990s when he moved to Norfolk where he now lives with his partner, Polly. He is the author of 13 previous books (see previous books), of which perhaps the best known are the enduring classics, 'Food for Free' and 'Flora Britannica' . He writes regularly for the Times, the Guardian and BBC Wildlife. He is also a regular broadcaster on Radio 4.