Cover of Wildwood


A Journey Through Trees

Roger Deakin

Effortless and enchanting, Roger Deakin’s Wildwood is unique in its weaving of encyclopedic appreciation for trees and personal anecdote. Simply if uncharitably put, Deakin looks into his navel and finds a forest. It’s idosyncratic and beautiful, and you might find yourself checking prices on flights to southern Kyrgyzstan just to see if an actual lived experience can live up to his description of a walnut forest, or driving around Suffolk looking for his 400-year-old digs, or just wishing you could be half as observant as this writer, who spent a lifetime carefully looking around him and beautifully recording it. Give this amazing study of what he dubbed “the fifth element” (wood), a little time to take root, and something beatuiful will grow.

Book Info

Free Press (2010)
ISBN/EAN Product Code
Publisher Description

Here, published for the first time in the United States, is the last book by Roger Deakin, famed British nature writer and icon of the environmentalist movement. In Deakin’s glorious meditation on wood, the “fifth element” – as it exists in nature, in our culture, and in our souls – the reader accompanies Deakin through the woods of Britain, Europe, Kazakhstan, and Australia in search of what lies behind man’s profound and enduring connection with trees. Deakin lives in forest shacks, goes “coppicing” in Suffolk, swims beneath the walnut trees of the Haut-Languedoc, and hunts bushplums with Aboriginal women in the outback. Along the way, he ferrets out the mysteries of woods, detailing the life stories of the timber beams composing his Elizabethan house and searching for the origin of the apple. As the world’s forests are whittled away, Deakin’s sparkling prose evokes woodlands anarchic with life, rendering each tree as an individual, living being. At once a traveler’s tale and a splendid work of natural history, Wildwood reveals, amid the world’s marvelous diversity, that which is universal in human experience. (Publisher’s Description)

On this shelf:
The Landmarks of Landmarks