243 pages, no illustrations
Described as 'Britain's greatest living nature writer', Richard Mabey has revealed his passion for the natural world in eloquent stories for BBC Wildlife Magazine. This definitive collection brings together his favourite pieces and presents a fascinating and inspiring view of the changing natural landscape in which we live. With marvellously observed detail, Mabey recalls following a barn owl he'd encountered while walking near his home in Norfolk, and talks of studying lichens through the lens of a Victorian microscope.
Alongside tales of ants and hornets, swifts and pink-footed geese, we read about the hustle and bustle of his village in the heat of the summer, and his musings on the significance of Constable's "The Cornfield". Mabey's fascination lies in the way that we live and work within the nature that surrounds us. Peppered throughout with references to the heritage of nature writing, and great writers from Richard Jefferies and John Clare to Roger Deakin and Robert MacFarlane, A Brush with Nature is part memoir, part nature journal, part social history, giving us a unique insight into a nature lover's reflections over a quarter of a century.
"Generous and inclusive, the mark of a rounded writer and man."
- The Times
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Richard Mabey is a prize-winning writer and botanist, described by The Times as 'Britain's greatest living nature writer'. Brought up in the Chilterns, he now lives in Norfolk where he and his partner, Polly, have created a complex garden with elements ranging from a walled vegetable plot to a Mediterranean garrigue and a self-sown oakwood. Highly praised for his poetic style and challenging ideas, he writes a monthly column for BBC Wildlife magazine and is the author of several books on nature and food, including the bestselling Food for Free, a book which has never been out of print, and the hugely successful Flora Britannica: The Definitive New Guide to Britain's Wild Flowers.