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Books by Richard Mabey

  • Turning the Boat for Home

    Richard Mabey

    Product Code: CAXNL
    Hardback
    For five decades Richard Mabey has been a pioneering voice in modern nature writing. From the rediscovery of foraging that led to Food for Free, through his groundbreaking expeditions in the 'edgelands' in the 1970s, to his reflections on the musicality of bird-song, he has consistently explored new ways of thinking about nature and its relation to our lives. In Turning the Boat for Home, he introduces pieces from his rich writing life that reflect on how his ideas evolved. At the heart is a passionate belief that Earth is a commonwealth, of all species. Mabey recalls the fight against the commercial afforestation of the Scottish peatlands and recounts the experience of running a 'community woodland', one of the first in Britain. Plants, the organisms that underpin all life, have been a source of constant fascination. In his encyclopaedic Flora Britannica Mabey explored how deeply they are embedded in our popular culture. But they are also autonomous beings with their own agendas, as experienced in his own 'serendipitous' garden 'in which wild organisms improvise their own landscapes'. From a new viewpoint, 'the slow-moving carapace' of a boat on the Norfolk Broads, Mabey ponders the migration of geese and the home-loving whirligig beetles. His epiphany is that a sense of "neighbourliness" may be the best model for our relationship with the rest of the living world. 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.'
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  • Nature Cure

    Richard Mabey

    Product Code: BIVKP
    Paperback
    In the last year of the old millennium, Richard Mabey, Britain's foremost nature writer, fell into a severe depression. The natural world - which since childhood had been a source of joy and inspiration for him - became meaningless. Then, cared for by friends, he moved to East Anglia and he started to write again. Having left the cosseting woods of the Chiltern hills for the open flatlands of Norfolk, Richard Mabey found exhilaration in discovering a whole new landscape and gained fresh insights into our place in nature. 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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  • Turned Out Nice Again

    Richard Mabey

    Product Code: BWGLR
    Paperback
    In his trademark style, Richard Mabey weaves together science, art and memoirs (including his own) to show the weather's impact on our culture and national psyche. He rambles through the myths of Golden Summers and our persistent state of denial about the winter; the Impressionists' love affair with London smog, seasonal affective disorder (SAD - do we all get it?) and the mysteries of storm migraines; herrings falling like hail in Norfolk and Saharan dust reddening south-coast cars; moonbows, dog-suns, fog-mirages and Constable's clouds; the fact that English has more words for rain than Inuit has for snow; the curious eccentricity of country clothing and the mathematical behaviour of umbrella sales. We should never apologise for our obsession with the weather. It is one of the most profound influences on the way we live, and something we all experience in common. No wonder it's the natural subject for a greeting between total strangers: 'Turned out nice again.'
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  • The Unofficial Countryside

    Richard Mabey

    Product Code: BFWTC
    Paperback
    During the early 1970s Richard Mabey set about mapping his unofficial countryside. He walked crumbling city docks and overgrown bomb sites, navigating inner city canals and car parks, exploring sewage works, gravel pits, rubbish tips. What he discovered runs deeper than a natural history of our suburbs and cities. The Unofficial Countryside prescribes another way of seeing, another way of experiencing nature in our daily lives. Wild flowers glimpsed from a commuter train. A kestrel hawking above a public park. Enchanter's nightshade growing through pavement cracks. Fox cubs playing on a motorway's scrubby fringe. There is a scarcely a nook in our urban landscape incapable of supporting life. It is an inspiration to find this abundance, to discover how plants, birds, mammals and insects flourish against the odds in the most obscure and surprising places.
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  • A Good Parcel of English Soil

    Richard Mabey

    Product Code: BBZVL
    Paperback
    Richard Mabey, one of Britain's leading nature writers, looks in A Good Parcel of English Soil at the relationship between city and country, and how this brings out the power of nature - part of a series of twelve books tied to the twelve lines of the London Underground, as Tfl celebrates 150 years of the Tube with Penguin Also available in a boxset Richard Mabey's A Good Parcel of English Soil, his essay on the Metropolitan line, is one of the most compelling segments of Penguin's Underground Lines ...eclectic and broad-minded ...elegantly written' Observer 'Authors include the masterly John Lanchester, the children of Kids Company, comic John O'Farrell and social geographer Danny Dorling. Ranging from the polemical to the fantastical, the personal to the societal, they offer something for every taste. All experience the city as a cultural phenomenon and notice its nature and its people. Read individually they're delightful small reads, pulled together they offer a particular portrait of a global city' Evening Standard 'Exquisitely diverse' The Times 'Eclectic and broad-minded ...beautifully designed' Tom Cox, Observer 'A fascinating collection with a wide range of styles and themes. The design qualities are excellent, as you might expect from Penguin with a consistent look and feel while allowing distinctive covers for each book. This is a very pleasing set of books' A Common Reader blog 'The contrasts and transitions between books are as stirring as the books themselves ...A multidimensional literary jigsaw' Londonist 'A series of short, sharp, city-based vignettes - some personal, some political and some pictorial ...each inimitable author finds that our city is complicated but ultimately connected, full of wit, and just the right amount of grit' Fabric Magazine 'A collection of beautiful books' Grazia [Praise for Richard Mabey]: 'Radiant, tingle-making prose has earned Mabey literary prizes and a multitude of fans', Daily Mail 'Richard Mabey is a man for all seasons, most regions and every kind of landscape', Andrew Motion Financial Times 'Refreshing, droll, politically alert, occasionally self-mocking, he has the enviable ability both to write historical overview and also to slip into the woods like a dryad, bringing us back to the trees themselves, their colours and lights and textures', Guardian Richard Mabey has been described as 'Britain's greatest living nature writer' and is a frequent contributor to the BBC.
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  • The Cabaret of Plants

    Richard Mabey

    Product Code: AVHIY
    Paperback
    In The Cabaret of Plants, Mabey explores the plant species which have challenged our imaginations, awoken our wonder, and upturned our ideas about history, science, beauty and belief. Picked from every walk of life, they encompass crops, weeds, medicines, religious gathering-places and a water lily named after a queen. Beginning with pagan cults and creation myths, the cultural significance of plants has burst upwards, sprouting into forms as diverse as the panacea (the cure-all plant ginseng, a single root of which can cost up to $10,000), Newton's apple, the African 'vegetable elephant' or boabab - and the mystical, night-flowering Amazonian cactus, the moonflower. Ranging widely across science, art and cultural history, poetry and personal experience, Mabey puts plants centre stage, and reveals a true botanical cabaret, a world of tricksters, shape-shifters and inspired problem-solvers, as well as an enthralled audience of romantics, eccentric amateur scientists and transgressive artists. The Cabaret of Plants celebrates the idea that plants are not simply 'the furniture of the planet', but vital, inventive, individual beings worthy of respect - and that to understand this may be the best way of preserving life together on Earth.
    • £9.89
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  • Dreams of the Good Life

    Richard Mabey

    Product Code: AMPQK
    Paperback
    While the Lark Rise to Candleford trilogy, Flora Thompson's much-loved portrait of life in the English countryside, has inspired a hit television series, relatively little is known about the author herself. In this highly original book, bestselling biographer and nature writer Richard Mabey sympathetically retraces her life and her transformation from a post-office clerk who left school at fourteen to a sophisticated professional writer. Revealing how a formidable imagination can arise from the humblest of beginnings, Dreams of the Good Life paints a poignant, unforgettable portrait of a working-class woman writer's struggle for creative expression.
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  • A Brush With Nature

    Richard Mabey

    Product Code: AKIYH
    Paperback
    Described as 'Britain's greatest living nature writer', Richard Mabey has revealed his passion for the natural world in eloquent stories for BBC Wildlife Magazine. This volume features his favourite pieces and presents a fascinating and inspiring view of the changing natural landscape in which we live. Peppered throughout with references to the heritage of nature writing, and great writers from Richard Jefferies and John Clare to Roger Deakin and Robert MacFarlane, A Brush With Nature is part memoir, part nature journal, part social history, giving us a unique insight into a nature lover's reflections over a quarter of a century.
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  • Food for Free

    Richard Mabey

    Product Code: AHARM
    Paperback
    The ideal portable companion, the world-renowned Collins Gem series returns with a fresh new look and updated material. This is the perfect pocket guide for aspiring foragers. Over 100 edible plants are listed, fully illustrated and described, together with recipes and other fascinating details on their use throughout the ages. Practical advice on how to pick along with information on countryside laws and regulations on picking wild plants helps you to plan your foray with a feast in mind. This is the ideal book for both nature lovers and cooks keen to enjoy what the countryside has to offer.
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  • The Ash and the Beech

    Richard Mabey

    Product Code: AGTTA
    Paperback
    From ash die-back to the Great Storm of 1987 to Dutch elm disease, our much-loved woodlands seem to be under constant threat from a procession of natural challenges. Just when we need trees most, to help combat global warming and to provide places of retreat for us and our wildlife, they seem at greatest peril. But these dangers force us to reconsider the narrative we construct about trees and the roles we press on them. In this now classic book, Richard Mabey looks at how for more than a thousand years we have appropriated and humanised trees, turning them into arboreal pets, status symbols, expressions of fashionable beauty - anything rather than allow them lives of their own. And in the poetic and provocative style he has made his signature, Mabey argues that respecting trees' independence and ancient powers of survival may be the wisest response to their current crises. Originally published with title Beechcombings, this updated edition includes a new foreword and afterword by the author.
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  • Turned Out Nice Again

    Richard Mabey

    Product Code: AGIWE
    Hardback
    This is an exploration of our preoccupation with the weather, as heard on BBC Radi 3: Changing Climates. In his trademark style, Richard Mabey weaves together science, art and memoirs (including his own) to show the weather's impact on our culture and national psyche. He rambles through the myths of Golden Summers and our persistent state of denial about the winter; the Impressionists' love affair with London smog, seasonal affective disorder (SAD - do we all get it?) and the mysteries of storm migraines; herrings falling like hail in Norfolk and Saharan dust reddening south-coast cars; moonbows, dog-suns, fog-mirages and Constable's clouds; the fact that English has more words for rain than Inuit has for snow; the curious eccentricity of country clothing and the mathematical behaviour of umbrella sales. We should never apologise for our obsession with the weather. It is one of the most profound influences on the way we live, and something we all experience in common. No wonder it's the natural subject for a greeting between total strangers: 'Turned out nice again.'
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  • Food for Free

    Richard Mabey

    Product Code: AECPV
    Hardback
    The classic foraging guide to over 200 types of food that can be gathered and picked in the wild, Food for Free returns in its 40th year as a sumptuous, beautifully illustrated and fully updated anniversary edition. Originally published in 1972, Richard Mabey's classic foraging guide has never been out of print since. Food for Free is a complete guide to help you safely identify edible species that grow around us, together with detailed artwork, field identification notes and recipes. In this stunning 40th anniversary edition, Richard Mabey's fully-revised text is accompanied by photographs, new recipes and a wealth of practical information on identifying, collecting, cooking and preparing, history and folklore. Informatively written, beautifully illustrated and produced in a new, larger format, Food for Free will inspire us to be more self-sufficient and make use of the natural resources around us to enhance our lives.
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  • Weeds

    Richard Mabey

    Product Code: ADUGV
    Paperback
    This is a lively and lyrical cultural history of plants in the wrong place by one of Britain's best and most admired nature writers. Ever since the first human settlements 10,000 years ago, weeds have dogged our footsteps. They are there as the punishment of 'thorns and thistles' in "Genesis" and, two millennia later, as a symbol of "Flanders Field". They are civilisations' familiars, invading farmland and building-sites, war-zones and flower-beds across the globe. Yet living so intimately with us, they have been a blessing too. Weeds were the first crops, the first medicines. Burdock was the inspiration for Velcro. Cow parsley has become the fashionable adornment of Spring weddings. Weaving together the insights of botanists, gardeners, artists and poets with his own life-long fascination, Richard Mabey examines how we have tried to define them, explain their persistence, and draw moral lessons from them. One persons weed is another's wild beauty.
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  • Flora Britannica

    Richard Mabey

    Product Code: ACKVI
    Hardback
    Covering the native and naturalized wild plants of England, Scotland and Wales, this reference guide to plants and flowers contains over 500 colour images.
    • £40.00
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