The Cabaret of Plants
Forty Thousand Years of Plant Life and the Human ImaginationBook - 2016
A sweeping work of botanical history, The Cabaret of Plants explores plant species that for millennia have challenged our imaginations, awoken our wonder, and upturned our ideas about history, science, beauty, and belief. Going back to the beginnings of human history, Mabey shows how flowers, trees, and plants have been central to human experience not just as sources of food and medicine but as objects of worship, actors in creation myths, and symbols of war and peace, life and death. Mabey takes readers from the Himalayas to Madagascar to the Amazon to our own backyards. He ranges through the work of writers, artists, and scientists and across nearly forty thousand years of human history: Ice Age images of plant life in ancient cave art and the earliest representations of the Garden of Eden; Newton's apple and gravity, Priestley's sprig of mint and photosynthesis, and Wordsworth's daffodils; the history of cultivated plants such as maize, ginseng, and cotton; and the ways the sturdy oak became the symbol of British nationhood and the giant sequoia came to epitomize the spirit of America. Complemented by dozens of full-color illustrations, this is the magnum opus of a great naturalist and an extraordinary exploration of the deeply intertwined history of humans and the natural world.
Publisher: New York : W. W. Norton & Company, 2016
Edition: First American edition
Characteristics: 374 pages : color illustrations ; 25 cm
Call Number: 580 MAB