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Flora Britannica, The Concise Edition Hardcover – Abridged, 22 Oct 1998

4.6 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Sinclair Stevenson; Abridged edition edition (22 Oct. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0701167319
  • ISBN-13: 978-0701167318
  • Product Dimensions: 17.7 x 2.9 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 661,140 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Book Description

Available for the first time, a smaller, abridged edition of FLORA BRITANNICA

About the Author

Richard Mabey is the father figure of modern nature writing in the UK. Since 1972 he has written some 40 influential books, including the prize-winning Nature Cure and Gilbert White: a Biography, and has edited both Birds Britannica and Bugs Britannica. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and Vice-President of the Open Spaces Society.

He spent the first half of his life amongst the Chiltern beechwoods, and now lives in Norfolk in a house surrounded by ash trees. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Once, even the most illiterate British home possessed a few books. Not just the obvious culprits like the bible or a world atlas, but the less recognised publications too, like the AA's UK Road Guide, Home-brewing for Beginners and, favourite of all, the Reader's Digest Guide to British Wildlife and Plants. The Reader's Digest guides don't seem to be around anymore, but never mind, because 'Flora Britannica' deserves to take its place in all our lives. It's richly-coloured photographs detail the flowers, plants and even weeds of the UK. Their stories, place in history, medicinal uses, recipes - even their appearance in nursery rhymes, they're all covered between the pages of this glorious book. Thousands of people all over the UK contributed to this book, and it shows. Every page feels like Mabey's labour of love. Apparently it took five years to put together and was a decade in the planning. I can believe it too. Buy the hardback, treat it like an old friend, pass it on to your children. 'Flora Britannica' is destined to be the an heirloom for the 21st century.
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By Rotgut VINE VOICE on 13 Oct. 2008
Format: Hardcover
I recall hearing Richard Mabey discussing this book on a radio show, before it was published and thinking its premise: collecting contibutors' personal experiences of British plant life, seemed rather uninspired. Surely this kind of thing has been done to death? Nature magazine columns have been filled for years with people writing accounts of things they have seen in the British countryside.

When it was published, I was further put off by the high price of the book.

I was completely wrong on both counts, the price, when the size, scope and quality of the book are considered, seems more than reasonable. As to the premise of the work, Richard Mabey, a genius writer in my opinion, pulls all the various accounts from amateur contributors together into a cohesive and coherent whole, that manages to maintain the same well mannered and good humoured tone throughout its long length.

It is possible to read the book piecemeal, picking out species that interest you specially , but I feel reading it from cover to cover best allows the reader to appreciate what the author has achieved.

This is not an identification guide, although the photographs are of top quality, and the amount of space devoted to each species varies wildly, but the "Flora" succeeds in its aim to be a folk history rather than purely a Natural History work.

Beware of books that may seem to continue this work, e.g."Fauna Britannica", which do not, in fact, have much in common with this fine volume.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a high quality books - with good photographs and decent length entries on the wild flowers, herbs and trees you'll know if you have grown up in the country.
The marvellous bit about it is the way the author has drawn from contributors all over the country who have passed on their local names, stories and memories about common British plants. A real storehouse to be read and enjoyed on those windy and wet days when you can't go out and look for yourself. Many people's memories are from childhood, a reminder that we often really get to know the plants and animals around us in our early years. So it is a book to keep and hand on.
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By A Customer on 4 Jun. 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is a very good encyclopedia, with a lot of information about the history and uses of the various plants found in Britain. My only criticism is that the pictures show the plants in their natural habitat rather than close up. This means it is sometimes difficult to identify the plant from the picture. After saying that, this book is not a hady field guide that you would carry round anyway. It being 400+ pages.
As a home fererence work, I can reccomend it, and I have spent ages browsing through it's pages discovering interesting things about the plants that are all arround us.
Paul
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have bought several' Wild Flower' books of late to identify wild flowers prolifically abundant in a specific habitat that is different from my childhood haunts where my father identified all the local ones for me. This book is a real heavyweight volume and at first I imagined that it would not give me what I wanted. Long articles of continuous prose with anecodal information, that include illustrations of classic paintings, and photographs of garden gates and landscapes belie the fact that this is a seriously informative guide to wild flowers, arranged in sections and that includes information on trees etc. too. It is so enticing that it is easier to find oneself deep into the book rather than visiting the very places about which one requires information. This book has come into its own during a long spell of relative immobility, to enhance my interest. It is like an informed conversation with an interesting acquaintance who is able to wander slightly off the main point, but only to enrich ones knowledge, pleasure and understanding. How many straight forward guides would give you a list of local names for a plant or draw you into a description of how seedlings were collected, at the right time of year, to grow for herbal use? (The latter probably protected by a law nowadays, so it pays to find out.) Personally, I hate to find muddy holes where people have dug up roots, or trampled down grassland that previously was abundant with rare species in beautiful wild areas in a quest to see and photograph them! Makes ME wild to see large groups being taught to dig up plants whether legal or not! If you get a chance to buy this heavy book, you will not regret it if you love the subject.
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