In the last year of the old millennium, Richard Mabey, Britain's foremost nature writer, fell into a severe depression. For two years,he did little more than lie in bed with his face to a wall. He could neither work nor play. His money ran out. Worst of all, the natural world - which since childhood had been a source of joy and inspiration for him - became meaningless. Then, cared for by friends, he gradually recovered. He fell in love. Out of necessity as much as choice he moved to East Anglia. And he started to write again.
This remarkable book is an account of that first year of a new life. It is the story of a rite of passage -from sickness into health, from retreat into curiosity. It is about the adventure of learning to fit again. Having left the cosseting woods of the Chiltern hills for the open flatlands of Norfolk, Richard Mabey finds exhilaration in discovering a whole new landscape. He writes about the changing seasons in prose so exact andso beautiful that every sentence delights the reader.
But Nature Cure is also alarger story. In finding his own niche, Richard Mabey gained insights into our human place in nature. He reflects on the inherent value of all creatures; on our presumptions that mankind is superior; on the ancient morality of commonland; and above all on the role of the imagination -not as a barrier between us and nature, but as our best way back to it. This was his 'nature cure': not a passive submission to nature, but anactive, sensual re-engagement.
Structured as intricately as a novel, a joy to read, truthful, exquisite and questing, Nature Cure is a book of hope, not just for individuals, but for our species.
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A book of which only he could have written a single page...marvellously observed, deeply felt from sentence to sentence. The writing is exquisite - Evening Standard
A brilliant, candid and heartfelt memoir...The account of how he broke free of depression, reshaped his life and reconnected with the wild becomes nothing short of a manifesto for living...Mabey's particular vision, informed by a lifetime's reading and observation, is ultimately optimistic. It is also what makes his voice so appealing amid all the froth and flam of the eco-debate - Sunday Times
Mabey is a radical, inheritor of an old English tradition...The core of the book is his exploration of his new landscape. It feels a privilege to share it, watching him unpick the layers of watery Norfolk, with dazzling skill and the warmest of hearts, as his troubled mind heals - Independent
Nature Cure is one of the most talked about books of our time.' 'Richard Mabey charts the primacy of the imagination in a sensual re-engagement with nature - Daily Telegraph Weekend
Richard Mabey is a prize-winning writer and botanist, described by The Times as 'Britain's greatest living nature writer'. Brought up in the Chilterns, he now lives in Norfolk where he and his partner, Polly, have created from scratch a vegetable garden, a Mediterranean garden, a pond garden and a wild garden with fields and hedgerows.
Highly praised for his poetic style and his challenging ideas, he is the author of FOOD FOR FREE, THE UNOFFICIAL COUNTRYSIDE, THE COMMON GROUND, FLORA BRITANNICA, NATURE CURE and, most recently, BEECHCOMBINGS.