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The Consolation of Nature

The Consolation of Nature

‘As our lives constrict again, the long spring lockdown already seems a lifetime ago. But that beautiful and frightening time has been perfectly captured in The Consolation of Nature…It’s lovely: full of fascinating detail and anecdote, but the undertow of the virus moving in real time beneath its sunlit surface gives it a unique emotional heft.’
-Melissa Harrison, The Times

‘What joy! . . . There’s acute and beautiful observation on every page, thrown into exquisite relief by the poignancy of the circumstances.’
-Isabella Tree

‘A powerful and moving reflection on the solace brought by nature and its power as a balm for stressed-out lives.’
-Caroline Lucas, Green MP

‘An entrancing testament to nature’s power to restore us to ourselves.’
-Ruth Padel

Nature took on a new importance for many people when the coronavirus pandemic arrived, providing solace in a time of great anxiety – not least because the crisis struck at the beginning of spring, the season of light, growth, rebirth and renewal.

Three writers, close friends but living in widely separated, contrasting parts of the country, resolved to record their experiences of this extraordinary spring in intimate detail, to share with others their sense of the wonder, inspiration and delight the natural world can offer.

The Consolation of Nature is the story of what they discovered by literally walking out from their front doors.
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Genre: Lifestyle, Sport & Leisure / Natural History

On Sale: 15th October 2020

Price: £14.99

ISBN-13: 9781529349160

Reviews

They all write superbly and their styles and perspectives are sufficiently different to add variety to the passage... but not so different that any grates with the others. It is so beautifully written
Mark Avery
As expected from these three authors, it is beautifully written, but it is also extremely evocative.
Martin Harper, Global Conservation Director RSPB
What joy - three of our greatest nature writers in one book! What they felt under lockdown is surely what we all felt, that primal need to be out in nature - balm for body and soul. There's acute and beautiful observation on every page, thrown into exquisite relief by the poignancy of the circumstances. Against the backdrop of anxiety and doubt, their experiences bear witness to the inspiring and ever-hopeful lesson that nature can heal itself - and us - if we let it.
Isabella Tree
A powerful and moving reflection on the solace brought by nature and its power as a balm for stressed-out lives
Caroline Lucas MP
The book is an entrancing testament to nature's power to restore us to ourselves. To read it is to open your eyes to everything around you, from an egg-laying butterfly to the value of cowpats. In the company of three generous naturalists, you wander down a Lovers' Lane of close observation plus humane imagination, into the tangled bank of wild and hidden life that still goes on, despite all we have done to it, in our countryside and parks. The Consolation of Nature is a consolation in itself.
Ruth Padel
These three distinguished writers are all steeped in the natural world, yet each is of highly individual sensibility and comes from a very distinct part of the country. For all the differences between them, they have produced a book of fundamental unity with a singular conclusion: that coronavirus and all its consequences reveal the central importance of nature to the British as a nation and to humans as a species. Their message could not be more timely.
Mark Cocker
Probably the best tribute to spring since Edward Thomas's In Pursuit of Spring... A spell-binding paean to the best and worst spring ever which shows how deeply Nature absorbs, stimulates and nurtures us.
Matthew Oates
The Consolation of Nature is as scintillating, perceptive and every bit as readable as Gibert White's Selborne
Professor Tim Birkhead, FRS
I was entranced by the close observations of wildlife by three eloquent and experienced naturalists during the 'lockdown year', proof, if any were needed, that nature provides succour when it is most required
Richard Fortey, FRS
As our lives constrict again, the long spring lockdown already seems a lifetime ago. But that beautiful and frightening time has been perfectly captured in The Consolation of Nature by the naturalists Michael McCarthy, Jeremy Mynott and Peter Marren. Each reports from their home patches - Richmond, West Suffolk and North Wessex, respectively - to describe the progress of a record-breakingly sunny spring as human activity slowed and stilled. As a set of nature diaries it's lovely: full of fascinating detail and anecdote. But the undertow of the virus moving in real time beneath its sunlit surface gives it a unique emotional heft. When we emerge from this crisis our relationship with the natural world must change. This book surely is a record of the beginnings of that shift.
Melissa Harrison, The Times
Credit to three of our most distinguished nature writers...This is an entertaining and insightful diary of lockdown, which really manages to capture the essence of the unique spring of 2020
Stephen Moss, 2020 Round-up of Nature Books
A significant and beautifully written historical record of a unique English spring
Adam gretton, The Harrier