Fencing Paradise : The uses and abuses of plants

Author(s): Richard Mabey (illus Sue Hill)


In this remarkable journal of visits to Eden, Mabey transports his reader from Cornwall to the Mediterranean to the Tropics, from Old World to New, from present to personal memory, to new perspectives on our collective artistic and emotional past. Sensuous and evocative, exquisitely written, his new book challenges the reader to look differently at the world, and our place in the landscape. At the same time, Mabey is controversial in his views about what we mean by buzz words like 'renewable', or 'sustainable', and he is highly provocative in his final response to the Eden Project itself. First published 2005.


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Triggered by visits to the Eden Project, Britain's foremost countryside writer is on top form as he discusses specific plants, plant hunters, what we mean by Paradise, and other botanical and ecological ideas.

"Fluid and highly readable, Fencing Paradise is environmentally aware, but never preachy. Mabey dips into a broad pool of knowledge...to offer a panoramic depiction of our attempts to tame nature, and a cautionary vision of the possible consequences." The Daily Telegraph 20060930 "Mabey's lucid and very erudite "pot-pourri of responses, recollections and free associations" was sparked off by three seasons' worth of visits to the Eden Project. The ambitious scale of that massive hothouse umbrella is reflected in the breadth of his contemplation." Independent on Sunday 20060924 "A remarkable, beautifully written, exquisite book on botanical and ecological ideas, inspired by visits to the Eden Project. Subtitled "The Uses and Abuses of Plants", it's a gem." The Bookseller 20060623 "A terrific book...it's an engaging compendium of plant chat and history." -- Catherine Shoard The Evening Standard 20061009 "The author structures his book with a journey through the biotopia of the Eden Project in Cornwall, from where he darts off in history and geography to offer sparkling mini-essays on specific herbs and plants and more general matters botanical and ecological." -- Steven Poole Guardian 20051008

Richard Mabey was born and brought up in the Chilterns. He lived there until the late 1990s when he moved to Norfolk where he now lives with his partner, Polly. He is the author of 13 previous books (see previous books), of which perhaps the best known are the enduring classics, 'Food for Free' and 'Flora Britannica' . He writes regularly for the Times, the Guardian and BBC Wildlife. He is also a regular broadcaster on Radio 4.

General Fields

  • : 9781903919323
  • : Eden Project Books
  • : Eden Project Books
  • : October 2006
  • : 127mm X 195mm X 18mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Richard Mabey (illus Sue Hill)
  • : Paperback
  • : 1
  • : 581.7
  • : 240
  • : Illustrations