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The Ash and The Beech: The Drama of Woodland Change [Paperback]

Richard Mabey
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: £9.99
Price: £7.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

6 Jun 2013

From ash die-back to the Great Storm of 1987 to Dutch elm disease, our much-loved woodlands seem to be under constant threat from a procession of natural challenges. Just when we need trees most, to help combat global warming and to provide places of retreat for us and our wildlife, they seem at greatest peril. But these dangers force us to reconsider the narrative we construct about trees and the roles we press on them.

In this now classic book, Richard Mabey looks at how, for more than a thousand years, we have appropriated and humanised trees, turning them into arboreal pets, status symbols, expressions of fashionable beauty - anything rather than allow them lives of their own. And in the poetic and provocative style he has made his signature, Mabey argues that respecting trees' independence and ancient powers of survival may be the wisest response to their current crises.

Originally published with title Beechcombings, this updated edition includes a new foreword and afterword by the author.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (6 Jun 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099587238
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099587231
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 63,043 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"Wonderfully subversive, far-reaching and unsentimental" (Observer)

"Richard Mabey is a man for all seasons, most regions and every kind of landscape" (Andrew Motion Financial Times)

"An elegant and heartfelt essay on mankind's changing relationship with trees" (Sunday Telegraph)

"A leaf-storm of philosophical musings, journeys of mind and body, reflections and anecdotes that imprint the tree on human culture" (Sunday Times)

"A terrific combination of both natural and intellectual history, informed by penetrating insight" (Independent)

Book Description

A timely new edition of Richard Mabey's profound and poetic book, Beechcombings, now updated with a foreword discussing the ash die-back crisis and its impact upon the most significant organisms on the planet: trees.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Caution: This is Beechcombings with a new title 15 Sep 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Five stars for the actual content of the book but it's worth being aware that this is Mabey's Beechcombings with a new sleeve/title - something that (irritatingly) I'd missed when ordering.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A.good solid piece of writing 14 Sep 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book deals with human reaction to trees and some of the problems this can bring about. It suggests taking the long view .
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 2.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
2.0 out of 5 stars Pity that the original pictures are missing 15 Nov 2013
By Simon Esposito - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is no textbook, rather (in Richard Mabey's usual approach to nature writing) it is a personal set of essays around British woodland, its meaning and 'construction', and its future.

I did have access to it at my local library, but I thought it would be good to get this updated edition on Kindle. Unfortunately the one week refund window passed before I realized that the photographs and artworks of the original book are missing. This is a great pity because, rather than being 'general illustration', the book's pictures relate closely to the text, very often forming subjects of the book's essays. The original edition had full-page color plates, but I would have been happy enough with Kindle's black-and-white if the resolution was high. Anything really, just to capture the essence of the pictures and get some idea of what you're reading about.

I can't say if the latest paperback edition (if there is one) has done the same thing. But without some effort by the publisher on the pictures, $9.99 is too much to pay.
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