Wildwood: A Journey Through Trees

Roger Deakin, Author . Free Press $26.95 (390p) ISBN 978-1-4165-9362-1

In this last book before his death in 2006, Deakin (Waterlog ) delights with his curiosity and affection for rambling forests in Europe and Australia. The book is as much about the woodland animals and humans engaged with forest life as it is about the trees, the rooks “flinging themselves into a strong wind and somersaulting wildly upward, then diving straight down again into the woods like bungee jumpers”; the Essex Moth Group clustering around a mercury lamp to view moths with poetic names like “the willow beauty, the dingy footman, the clouded silver”; and artists engaging with nature, like John Wolseley, inspired by the fire-struck Australian Whipstick Forest to create works expressing “all the urgency and energy of the racing bushfire itself.” Deakin's lyrical, sometimes anthropomorphic portraits of trees and wood are saturated with his scientific knowledge and passion: a hazel branch, “more of a magician's staff than a walking stick... naturally fluted and spiraled by the strangling effect of the honeysuckle stem that still encircled it like an asp... was a masterpiece of nature, the voluptuous embrace of the honeysuckle exciting the hazel into a frenzy of cell division.” (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 10/06/2008
Release date: 01/01/2009
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 448 pages - 978-1-4391-0994-6
Paperback - 416 pages - 978-0-14-101001-4
Paperback - 390 pages - 978-1-4165-9532-8
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