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Roger Deakin, who died in August 2006 shortly after completing the manuscript of Wildwood, was a writer and film maker with a particular interest in nature and the environment. He lived for many years in Suffolk, where he swam regularly in his moat, in the River Waveney and in the sea, in between travelling widely through the wildwood landscapes he writes about in this book. Waterlog, the predecessor to Wildwood, recounts his swimming adventures and has been hailed as a classic of nature writing.


In this last book before his death in 2006, Deakin (Waterlog) delights with his curiosity and affection for rambling forests in Europe and Australia. The book is as much about the woodland animals and humans engaged with forest life as it is about the trees, the rooks "flinging themselves into a strong wind and somersaulting wildly upward, then diving straight down again into the woods like bungee jumpers"; the Essex Moth Group clustering around a mercury lamp to view moths with poetic names like "the willow beauty, the dingy footman, the clouded silver"; and artists engaging with nature, like John Wolseley, inspired by the fire-struck Australian Whipstick Forest to create works expressing "all the urgency and energy of the racing bushfire itself." Deakin's lyrical, sometimes anthropomorphic portraits of trees and wood are saturated with his scientific knowledge and passion: a hazel branch, "more of a magician's staff than a walking stick... naturally fluted and spiraled by the strangling effect of the honeysuckle stem that still encircled it like an asp... was a masterpiece of nature, the voluptuous embrace of the honeysuckle exciting the hazel into a frenzy of cell division." (Jan.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Full of delight and joy and wisdom Sunday Telegraph With this book Roger Deakin can be counted one of the greatest of all nature writers. His beautiful book should serve to make us appreciate more keenly all that we have here on earth Mail on Sunday A breathtaking book Sunday Times A masterpiece which deserves to be read and reread Guardian One of my favourite kind of books. Few books make you change your habits; this one changed mine -- Will Self New Statesman

With Wood as a family name and a great-grandfather who owned a timber yard, it is not surprising that British nature writer Deakin felt as strong a tie to the forest as to water, which he chronicled in his first book, Waterlog. From his school days of taking ecological surveys in a nearby forest to his adult years as a woodworker, trees have played an important role in his life. In this posthumous work, Deakin, who died in 2006, takes the reader on nature forays throughout his native England and beyond, where he meets an eclectic host of people including artists and scientists who live and work with trees. During his travels, he visits such places as a Jaguar factory, the dusty outback of Australia, the birthplace of apples in the Tien Shan Mountains of Kazakhstan, and a dismal World War II-ravaged region of Poland. Liberally sprinkled with literary allusions, forest lore and myth, and instructions on forestry practices such as coppicing trees, this memoir, travelog, and natural history work will find a comfortable place in public libraries.-Maureen J. Delaney-Lehman, Lake Superior State Univ. Lib., Sault Ste. Marie, MI Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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