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The Life of the Bee Hardcover – 1 Jul 2002

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Hardcover, 1 Jul 2002
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£75.99 FREE Delivery in the UK. Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we dispatch the item. Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 140 pages
  • Publisher: IndyPublish.com (1 July 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1404313486
  • ISBN-13: 978-1404313484
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.1 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,465,995 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Maurice Maeterlinck (1862- 1949) was a Belgian playwright, poet and essayist who wrote in French. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1911. The main themes in his work are death and the meaning of life. His plays form an important part of the Symbolist movement. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Books4women on 9 Jun. 2008
Format: Hardcover

The Nobel Prize winner offers brilliant proof that "no living creature, not even man, has achieved in the center of his sphere, what the bee has achieved."

From their amazingly intricate feats of architecture to their intrinsic sense of self-sacrifice, Maeterlinck takes a "bee's-eye view" of the most orderly society on Earth.

Translated by Alfred Sutro - Introduced by John Heath-Stubbs - Illustrated by Wilf Hartley.

Special Ed from the Folio Society.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 26 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
bees and the meaning of life 18 Feb. 2012
By Mei - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
This book was first published in 1901, the printed version has 178 pages. At the moment I write this Amazon does not offer this title for free in Europe, but it is in the public domain, so you can find it for free on the web. On the web this book is available in several languages, including English, Dutch and French.

In this book you can read a lot about the behaviour of bees (the author had an extensive knowledge of bees, not only from books he read but also from close observations of these little animals).

A list of the contents of this book:


Maurice Maeterlinck was a great writer who has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1911. One of the main themes in his work is the meaning of life; and even in this book on bees you can find philosophical bits on this theme. Maeterlinck writes so beautifully that even if you're not interested in bees at all, I would recommend downloading this book and giving it a try.

To give you an idea of the manner of writing of Maeterlinck and the content of this book I will copy one paragraph of the first chapter, namely the first phrases of 'section 5' of this chapter:

In order to follow, as simply as possible, the life of the bees
through the year, we will take a hive that awakes in the spring and
duly starts on its labours; and then we shall meet, in their natural
order, all the great episodes, viz.: the formation and departure of
the swarm, the foundation of the new city, the birth, combat and
nuptial flight of the young queens, the massacre of the males, and
finally, the return of the sleep of winter. With each of these
episodes there will go the necessary explanations as to the laws,
habits, peculiarities and events that produce and accompany it; so
that, when arrived at the end of the bee's short year, which extends
only from April to the last days of September, we shall have gazed
upon all the mysteries of the palace of honey.

I highly recommend this philosophical book about bees to anyone who loves to read beautifully written non-fiction. This book will not teach you how to keep bees though.
19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Tell Us More Mr. Science 30 Aug. 2001
By TUCO H. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Not enough people read Maeterlinck today and this is a shame: the man was, unlike some Nobel prize winners in literature, truly a fantastic writer with a uniquely tuned, sharp, comprehensively philosophical but never didactic mind. Coming from a well-to-do Belgian family in the age before Television, Radio, and all the other usually destructive distractions of today, the young Maeterlinck had beekeeping for his principal hobby (just ask even your high-I.Q. high-schooler today ANYTHING about the life of bees and ants and other social insects and you'll be amazed at how little they know, in spite of the 'Discovery' Channel and all the documentary films made about the subject and shown on TV), and inspired by the essays of Fabre, began a period of amateur observation and experiment with his apiary, finally publishing the results in 1901, at the age of 39, as "Life of the Bee." Written in a highly poetic style that blended fact, imagination, and mystical speculation, it became the single most popular book ever written about insect life. Not that there aren't errors in Maeterlinck's observations that subsequent research corrected, but as far as the QUALITY OF WRITING is concerned, no one else can even come close to these amazing descriptions: in fact, some of the best written passages in all of literature are in this book.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
this is an incredible book 29 Nov. 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
i found a copy of this in london, just hoping for something to keep me occupied while i was traveling. it turned out to be one of the best books i've ever read. an utterly unique view of the world - the bee's and our own.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
MORE than happy:) 6 Sept. 2012
By Nancy Jo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What a great book. We started a hive last year and now have 2. This book has a very personal touch and very poetic.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Be there Life 11 Oct. 2007
By Randy Keehn - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is the second book by Maurice Maeterlinck that I have read. He certainly has a philosophical mind and, at times, he is quite impressive. On the other hand, he seems to wander so far off topic as to be distracting. As his choice of general topic for this thesis, Maeterlinck has chosen a topic he knows well; the life of the bee.

The author is a bee-keeper and one who researches his topic. He speaks of observing the bees through glass hives and he has learned a lot through his observations as well as those he cites. There were times that I was so overwelmed by his uncanny insights to life and human nature that I underlined a number of passages. His ability to compare our perspective of the bees to their perspective of us gives a naturalist's insight to life. This works well while we are discovering the wonders of the bee's society. As the book continues into the more esoteric aspects of bees, this philosophical wandering got to be a bit much for me as I stumbled to the end of the book. Others will likely disagree but that's my impression.
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