Nigel Andrew

Putting Down Roots

The Wood for the Trees: The Long View of Nature from a Small Wood

By

William Collins 306pp £22 order from our bookshop

The English love for ‘our’ woodlands runs deep and strong. Witness the astonishing furore a few years ago when the government proposed selling off some Forestry Commission land. Middle England united in a howl of outrage at this monstrous threat to our beloved woods (despite the Forestry Commission’s lamentable record of stewardship) and the
government duly backed down.

This sylvan passion is reflected in the long history of English woodland writing, from Shakespeare’s enchanted forests to John Evelyn’s magisterial Sylva of 1664 and all the way on to Gabriel Hemery and Sarah Simblet’s The New Sylva 450 years later, by way of such wood-loving writers as Edward Thomas, H E Bates, John Stewart Collis and, more recently, Richard Mabey and Roger Deakin. And now along comes Richard Fortey’s The Wood for the Trees, the story of one man and his wood. 

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'Pollan has no doubt that the use of psychedelics could have a powerfully beneficial effect on a range of condition… ,
    • A memoir about an Untouchable family and the 'formation of modern India': 'Ants among Elephants' by @gidla_sujatha… ,
    • RT : First founded in Edinburgh in 1979, is considered a trusted independent source for reviews of new book… ,
    • 'In different ways Hatherley makes gritty Lódź and poor old which-country-are-we-in-this-week Lviv sound entrancing… ,
    • In this issue Lucy Popescu discusses the miscarriages of justice occurring in the investigation over Maltese journa… ,
    • 'Rodin’s fascination with ancient Greek sculpture is part of a long and distinguished French tradition.' A review o… ,
    • The New Testament, in a new translation by David Bentley Hart, reviewed by Salley Vickers ,