In Into the Tangled Bank, Lev Parikian pays a series of visits to various British nature spots, many of them associated with famous (and not-quite-so-famous) nature writers and artists.
The book begins with the author admiring a butterfly on the pavement outside his house, then expounding the joys of his own garden. His explorations then spread farther afield. Parikian visits my hero Charles Darwin’s garden at Down House (the tangled bank of the book’s title is a Darwin reference). He then goes on to pay his respects at locations associated with the likes of Gilbert White, John Clare, Gavin Maxwell, Sir Peter Scott, Thomas Bewick, the lady founders of the RSPB, and the pioneering nature photographer Emma Turner.
It’s not all famous (and not-quite-so-famous) old naturalists, however; in amongst, Parikian finds time to visit some wildlife habitats that don’t yet come with celebrity endorsements.
Anyone, like me, who enjoys the increasingly popular nature writing genre is likely to enjoy this book—especially if, unlike me, they’re also into jocular footnotes.
An enjoyable and fun read.
Disclosure: I received a free review copy of this book from the publisher.
“…wonderfully droll, witty and entertaining… At their best Carter’s moorland walks and his meandering intellectual talk are part of a single, deeply coherent enterprise: a restless inquiry into the meaning of place and the nature of self.”
—Mark Cocker, author and naturalist
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