Reflective essays that move back and forth between Whitman, Emerson, a spider’s web, ponds, woods, Frost, Poe, love, wild creatures, with the same close and gracious observation of nature as found in Oliver’s poetry.
The author is a German forester whose sympathetic account of how trees behave like families has already been a bestseller in Europe. Tree parents prefer to live with their children, apparently. They have children relatively young and are useful as grandparents. With age their crowns thin and they expand around the middle… (We look forward to learning how the teenagers scarper.) This is an absolutely fascinating and extremely readable account of how trees create their own ideal environments and maintain them for centuries, if left to their own devices. A walk in the woods will never be the same again for anyone who reads this.
What could be a happier conjunction of subject and writer than Lear and Uglow? And there is even one of his parrots on the cover. How pleasant to be Miss Uglow!
This is the most ravishing biography of the season, gorgeously produced with decorative cloth boards quarter bound in wine-red cloth. The text is lavishly interspersed with reproductions of Lear’s marvellous landscapes and his drawings. Uglow’s sensitive approach links his nonsense poems – and drawings – to Lear’s life and character; she is gentle and not intrusive about his restless and complicated inner life, while setting him in the context of the Victorian art world. The extraordinary gifts of this most talented and unusual man are shown in endless flashes of humour – the sense of the absurd that matched his melancholy – as at the end of a postcard: “… must go now and draw a kangaroo…”. How pleasant to know Mr Lear rather better than before.