256 pages, colour plates, illus
Magisterial survey of woodlands in the British Isles by the leading archaeologist. This is stimulating and thoughtful history, very much along the lines of Oliver Rackham's `History of the Countryside.'
Over the last 25 years archaeologists and historians have been increasingly aware of the importance of woodland in the developing British landscape. No one has devoted more research to this subject then Richard Muir.;In this magisterial study, matched by numerous informative and evocative illustrations, the author begins by disposing of the myth that in prehistoric times Britain was swathed in a virtually impenetrable wildwood. In fact, from the earliest times woodland has been manipulated and transformed. The author first looks at landmark trees, then examines ancient trees and hedgerows before charting the early development of trees in the park and then later parkland and forestry. He describes too the life of the men of the forest over the centuries and probes the important subject of 'Woodlands of the Mind'.
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Richard Muir has been involved in landscape writing for a quarter of a century. As a result of his work, Dr Muir has recently been awarded life membership of the Yorkshire Dales Society for his 'outstanding contribution to the understanding of the Dales landscape'. He lives on the fringes of his native Nidderdale.