Known as the 'grandmother of herbalism', Juliette de Bairacli Levy travelled throughout Europe and North America in pursuit of her passion for herbs and holistic medicine, living mostly in rural places whose nomadic communities helped expand her knowledge of plants and living from the land. In the early 1950s, she settled in a thatched 'cabin' in the New Forest for three years and raised her children in the woods.
Originally published in 1958, Wanderers in the New Forest describes an extraordinary family life living wild: drawing spring water from Abbots Well, bathing in Windmill Hill Pond and sharing the water with their animal neighbours, foraging for fruits and fungi or tending to their forest garden of herbs, flowers and vegetables. Juliette's friendships within the local Gypsy community enabled her to record the impact that post-war modernisation was having on their traditions, ancient rights and intimate knowledge of the New Forest. This new edition is illustrated throughout with photographs taken by Juliette while living in the forest.
Juliette de Bairacli Levy (1912-2009) was born in Manchester and studied veterinary medicine but became disillusioned with the way these institutions treated animals. Instead, she embarked on a journey around the world, living with nomads, Gypsies and peasant farmers, learning how to use plants for the treatment of animals. In the late 1930s, she returned to England and started a clinic in London that became well-known for treating canine distemper. She wrote many influential books, including The Complete Herbal Handbook for Farm and Stable and The Complete Herbal Handbook for the Dog and Cat.
"With understanding she writes about culture. With authority she writes about herbology. And with love she writes about her family and friends. It is like an honest and open letter addressed to all, and I sincerely hope you enjoy, like I have, Juliette's wilder spirit."
– Megan McCubbin