‘If such a thing as nature writing exists and flourishes today it is thanks almost entirely to Richard Mabey.’ - Tim Dee
For over fifty years, Richard Mabey has been a pioneering voice in modern nature writing. This book collects pieces across his rich career, tracing his continually evolving ideas as much as the profound changes in our environment. From the rediscovery of food foraging in the 1970s, to reflections on the musicality of birdsong, these essays show Mabey’s passionate belief that our planet is a commonwealth for all species, and that our re-connection with the living world is more vital than ever.
Throughout there is a commitment to writing and to language, which may be 'our greatest ecological gift'. In a celebration that links the work of the poet John Clare with the political warnings of Rachel Carson, Mabey suggests that 'the answer to the still present threat of a silent spring is for us to sing against the storm.'
‘One of our greatest nature writers’ Guardian
Richard Mabey is among the best writers at work in Britain. I don't mean among the best nature writers, I mean the best writers, full stop. I would read anything he wrote, but if such a thing as nature writing exists and flourishes today it is thanks almost entirely to him. I have lived by his books for all of my life. Pretty much all of what nature means to me, I know thanks to his own lifelong clear-eyed but loving investigation of what it means to him. He has allowed us all to think about modern nature – our world - but also, crucially, to feel it too. I cannot imagine a truer green man.
One figure, like no other, looms large in setting the ground for the contemporary form that has come to be called then New Nature Writing. Richard Mabey is an author whose work has consistently pioneered new ways of thinking about landscape, nature, place, culture and the range of interconnections that all of these share. Often this has meant reminding us of old ways of thinking about these things but he has always had a sharp eye for the new meanings our modern context provokes.
One of our most influential writers on the natural world
A valuable contribution to a great cause
Poised where nature meets culture, he [Richard Mabey] is knowledgeable, politically savvy and wry, and an excellent naturalist