The very best of British and Irish nature writing selected by the natural history writer Patrick Barkham. The landscapes of Britain and Ireland, together with the creatures and plants that inhabit them, have penetrated deep in our collective imagination. From Gilbert White and Dorothy Wordsworth to Laurie Lee and Nan Shepherd, literature inspired by the natural world has become an integral part of our shared identity, and shaped our relationship with the islands we call home. In The Wild Isles, Patrick Barkham has gathered together a wide array of the very best of British and Irish nature writing, characterized by an arresting diversity of moods and voices. His choices are arranged under themes that range from birds, woods and coastlines to childhood, the seasons and urban nature, and juxtapose extracts from much-loved classics with passages by contemporary writers such as Robert Macfarlane, James Rebanks and Helen Macdonald. Here the reader will find joyful celebrations of landscape and the wildlife it nurtures, probing explorations of the environmental problems facing us today, as well as the fresh and vital perspectives of writers from underrepresented backgrounds. 'If British and Irish nature writing is to grow and endure,' writes Barkham in his introduction, 'it must be diverse, complex, multi-faceted and dynamic, and relevant to everyone who lives on this land.' Encompassing the bleak heights of the Cairngorms, the ancient woodlands of Essex, the storm-lashed islands of Ireland's west coast and the lush fields of Devon, The Wild Isles highlights nature's capacity to terrify and to delight, to soothe and to heal, to surprise, inspire and bring wonder.
A collection of wonderfully diverse, historic and contemporary attentive voices * BBC Wildlife Magazine *
A brilliant introduction to nature writing, drawing together a large selection of British and Irish writing of the past and present [...] ensuring that familiarity and discovery are both on hand * Cumbria Life *
What better way to start each day than by dipping into this attractive collection of prose writings that enrich our bond with the natural world? * Country Life *
Many of your favourites are in there, such as Chris Packham, George Monbiot, Mark Cocker and Isabella Tree, and are many new names, too. Ideal for dipping into on a night in * Bird Watching Magazine *
Readers of Wild Isles might have memories stirred, vision sharpened, wonder kindled. They might also ask what the future will look like... An exceptional addition to any nature- or book-lover's bookshelf' * Geographical Magazine *