Humboldt kept a detailed diary of his South American travels and drew everything he saw. Some 450 drawings are included in this handsome, large format, slipcased edition, published for the 250th anniversary of his birth.
Beady portraits of some very extravagant birds, with quotations appropriate to the character of each. Accompanied by snippets from ‘Beowulf’, Lewis Carroll, Marcel Proust (the latter for a ‘Blue Polish’, of course), etc.
Hooker was one of the great exploring botanists of his day, as well as a skillful geographer and cartographer. O’Brien, who runs the National Botanic Gardens at Kilmacurragh in County Wicklow, has followed Hooker’s journey of 1847 to the Himalayan botanical treasure-house that is Sikkim.
Wohlleben changed our understanding of how trees interact last year with ‘The Hidden Life of Trees’. Here he shows similar webs of connection and consequence on a much larger scale – wolves altering the course of a river, trees affecting the rotation of the earth. The author has a particular gift for getting us to see what is in front of our eyes.