Wildwood by Roger Deakin


Here, published for the first time in the United States, is the last book by Roger Deakin, famed British nature writer and icon of the environmentalist movement. In Deakin's glorious meditation on wood, the "fifth element"as it exists in nature, in our culture, and in our souls the reader accompanies Deakin through the woods of Britain, Europe, Kazakhstan, and Australia in search of what lies behind man's profound and enduring connection with tre...

Details Wildwood

Release DateMay 11th, 2019
PublisherHamish Hamilton
GenreEnvironment, Nature, Nonfiction, Travel, Science, Natural History, Autobiography, Memoir, Biography, European Literature, British Literature, Writing, Essays

Reviews Wildwood

  • Beth
    This was a lovely piece of nature writing. It wasn’t as poetic as say, Annie Dillard, but the writing didn’t come across as overly technical either. It was a book that made me want to camp out under the boughs of a British forest – to rebuild the ruins of a 400 year old timber frame house – to watch a craftsman at his lathe, turning wood into art. Much of this book relates the author’s own experiences in the woods. In 1969, he moved to ...
  • Simon
    A really beautiful book. Even the din on a packed rush-hour bus in downtown Chicago couldn't banish the magic that Deakin conjures up. I felt transported to a forest at dusk, and could hear the wind in the trees. I think the word "enchanting" is overused in book reviews, but in this case I think it's the perfect adjective, this book is literally enchanting.
  • Pequete
    I did not like the first chapter of this book where the author dwells on his geneology and the link of his family names with words related to plants and forests. I was sarting to feel disappointed with my decision to purchase it, when the second chapter (about housesheds) began and I loved it. Then came a description of the author's study, all the objects in it and te memories they stirred. This one was mostly OK, although I found it a bit boring...
  • João Carlos
    Roger Deakin fotografado junto a uma nogueira na sua propriedade "Walnut Tree Farm" “Wildwood: A Journey Through Trees” do escritor, documentarista e ambientalista Roger Deakin (1943 – 2006) é o “meu” livro.Um tumor cerebral matou Roger Deakin seis meses após ter concluído o manuscrito de “Wildwood: A Journey Through Trees”.Um livro, uma viagem literária e poética através das árvores, da floresta, da madeira, o “quinto elem...
  • Meaghan
    I am often apprehensive about reading nature writing because I am afraid that it won't hold my attention. I think in many cases something is lost in translation from the organic to the intellectual. Our inside and outside selves are kept separate entities these days. I have struggled recently with finding a way to bridge these two parts of my self (the nature-loving, spontaneous part with the studious, hard-working, methodical part). Deakin offer...
  • Mark
    Once again, this book was a total inspiration. I now so want to go and find a little cabin somewhere in the midst of a wood so as to experience something of this man's wonder. Fantastic
  • Alison
    I love this book so much! I haven't finished reading it yet, because I want to savour it gently and slowly. I'm a country woman, born on the egde of a wood, brought up on the edge of another - and I felt as if Roger Deakin was telling me things I'd always known but never articulated properly. I have enjoyed exploring some of his themes - the woodcraft of David Nash, the painting of Mary Newcombe - I feel educated by the onw book. This is a book w...
  • Lori
    A great book, very detailed. The author takes you a very detailed journey with him through the woods, desert or wherever he is. It was like an escape, I read it in winter and I felt like like I was right there with him looking at nature. Would highly recommend for any nature lover of trees and fauna. I hope to read another book he has also written.
  • Alicia
    Robert Deakin's writing is wonderful. He makes the many subjects of wood and the woods so interesting, something that could easily have been very bland. This book covers many aspects of wood and should be read more as a collection of essays rather than a running whole. Some of the chapters do follow a logical storytelling order, although others do not. Also take in mind that you won't find everything Deakin talks about to be interesting, he cover...
  • Kate
    "Here, published for the first time in the United States, is the last book by Roger Deakin, famed British nature writer and icon of the environmentalist movement. In Deakin's glorious meditation on wood, the 'fifth element' -- as it exists in nature, in our culture, and in our souls -- the reader accompanies Deakin through the woods of Britain, Europe, Kazakhstan, and Australia in search of what lies behind man's profound and enduring connection ...
  • Karen Mace
    What a wonderful journey into the world of trees and woods thanks to a brilliant writer! It is often the simplest of paragraphs that manages to capture the essence of the love affair many of us have with trees, and the magical places that forests and woods are. Through his own experiences we are taken on a fascinating look at the ways in which trees enchant us all through art, woodcraft, literature and more. Inspiring.I'm off to hug a tree!!
  • Luke
    I don't know what I was expecting from this book. Maybe an insight into the mythological impact of woods and how they have shaped our culture and our way of life.Instead we have a sort of biography from a slightly odd old hippy who has a wooden railway carriage in his garden. The slightly make-shift nature of his house reflects the makeshift nature of the book, it flits from wood to wood and never really gets under the skin of the wood. Neither i...
  • Christopher
    I read this book on the recommendation of Geoff Manaugh, the founder of BLDGBLOG.com (which is fantastic, by the way,a blog devoted to ‘architectural conjecture, urban speculation and landscape futures’) I am very glad that I found it. Not only is it fantastically well written, but it is such a simple and honest book about the pleasures of the woodlands, and of the experience of being in and around trees. For a seemingly limited topic, he cov...
  • Ashy
    I really liked this book, there is something in it for everyone really, as the chapters are very diverse in subject matter, while still being liked by the overall theme of wood/trees. It reminded me of knowledge I already have and taught me interesting new things, and was a nice relaxed book to read gradually. There was the odd part that I skimmed over, but largely there was something about each chapter that caught my interest and kept me reading...
  • Sonya
    This was probably my favourite read this year. It was akin, to me, of curling up in your dad's lap as a child, while he drones on about things that he adores that to you are simultaneously fascinating and mind-numbingly boring. And, like a dad, he is given to repeating parts of stories you've already heard. I really took my time reading this, because I haven't wanted it to end, and I think the book demands it. Deakin describes woodland scenes--wh...
  • Shriram Sivaramakrishnan
    How shall I begin reviewing..err..add my reviews to the universe of this book.Once in a while (generally our lifetime), we come across a book that would literally change the world that we inhabit. It makes us question the very assumptions upon which we've based our life.Wildwood, to me, is one such!Never have I come across such a book on nature writing. In essence, it is about Wood, rather the imagination called Wood, in our lives. Here is a pers...
  • Bruce Hatton
    Roger Deakin's second nature book explores the enduring fascination for what he calls the "fifth element". The mythical and mystical nature of woodland and the use of wood in architecture, furniture and artworks. As well as British woods, he explores those of France, Greece, Ukraine, Poland, Kazakhstan, and Australia. His descriptions of the different national attitudes to woodland put me in mind of Simon Scharma's "Landscape And Memory", particu...
  • Richard
    I just reread this book and it's a joy. Roger Deakin lived for many years in a ramshackle house that he repaired partially and shared with birds, bats and trees that in part held the house up.He tells of the house and animals around him. He also ambles further afield and tells of how wood is almost the 'fifth element' in human life and how we in the west have lost sight of its value and of course as a consequence have devastated our native forest...
  • Marie
    Some authors you imagine you'd actually like in person, not just on the page. Others, not so much. While I greatly admire Virginia Woolf's writing, e.g., and Doris Lessing's, they both strike me as people I would probably not have got along particularly well with in real life, for reasons of culture and upbringing as much as anything else. Actually, come to think of it, I often have this feeling with regard to female authors. I assume, rightly or...
  • Harold Rhenisch
    Such a wonderful journey through the world among trees. There are chapters here of astonishing beauty, especially the coppice hedges of England, the wild walnut and wild apple forests of Central Asia, and even a chapter (too short) on workshops and craft. The book sprawls a bit. Easily, it could have been three separate books: Europe, Asia and Australia. Each would have been stronger than this whole, but there's no need to shy from the book from ...
  • Gail
    Each chapter is a story and each story is basically about trees. Best ones: stories about his house, the country with the apple trees, and the country with the walnut trees. Enjoyable reading for nature and tree lovers.
  • Mark
    A book to dip into and come back to. Some lovely nature writing, though now and then more about the man than his subject. In passing though, vignettes of artists and sculptors such as Margaret Nellie's driftwood sculptures and the work of Roger Nash really stand out.
  • julie
    i would have given this 5 stars, but it had some slow moments. however, overall, i loved it and uncharacteristically for me, i read it slowly, to savor it. it made me feel quiet and peaceful and it made me want to go sleep out in the yard (which i probably would have done if it wasn't november and pissing down rain all the time where i live). I learned new (for me) words like coppiced and winter-bournes. and i learned about the Green Man, that pa...
  • Chuck Erion
    The emerald ash borer is having a devastating impact on the ash trees across southwestern Ontario.As a wood lover, I’m familiar with the ash’s white clear grain, but would be hard-pressed to identify the tree in the wild or along a city street. This is ironic given the numbers: there are apparently 6,500 ash trees in Kitchener and more than 12,000 in Waterloo.Which brings me to Wildwood — A Journey Through Trees (Penguin, 390 pages, $20) by...
  • Heather
    I came to this book after reading The Wild Places by Robert MacFarlane, who went exploring with Roger Deakin and also told of his last illness from which he died, as well as dedicating The Wild Places to him. After enjoying The Wild Places greatly, hearing so much about Roger from that book, it was a natural reading rabbit trail from that book to this. While I must say it sounds like Roger was a remarkable individual, I did not enjoy this as much...
  • Jason
    This book started of so well with his insight and imaginative descriptions of his woodland and communities that use them. Also the historical aspect of forest and woods and their uses was interesting, but it started to drag and seemed to be unnecessarily dragged out in areas and when he went abroad the links to woodland became tenuous and and boring and had the air of the old imperial englishman abroad. The exception being the fruit forests which...
  • Denzil Walton
    I bow before the late Roger Deakin’s phenomenal knowledge of, it seems, all things natural. He would have been the kind of person who you could ask just about anything, and he would have known the answer. Unfortunately, I believe you might have nodded off while listening to his response.Why? He goes into so much detail! He would also have referred to a dozen or so friends of his and mentioned their answers to your question, and thrown in some v...
  • Tamsin Barlow
    A book written by one of England's great eccentrics -- he swam across England through streams, canals and lakes just to get closer to nature and observe the character of water. So who wouldn't want to read about his experiences and observations about trees? I love trees and feel a great interest in them so reading this rambling book has been very satisfying -- I'm not the only tree-hugger out there. Beautifully written, deeply insightful and dott...
  • Jennifer
    A deep love for the natural world pervades this book as does the wonder of a child. When you think about it, trees are pretty amazing things. The problem is, we often don't think about it. Thanks to Deakin, I will never look at an apple tree, a wood desk, the beams in my house in exactly the same way again. It is a reminder to slow down and look around. Each of the chapters in this book brings you to a different place where the rhythms of life ar...
  • Sue Swisher
    Beautifully written, a leisurely read that perfectly captures the rural landscapes, woodlands, customs, and people of the various forests that Deakin visits and appreciates. I feel I have personally seen and experienced the same woods that the author did. His first love is the Suffolk countryside near his home, but he has equally vivid descriptions of Australia, Greece, Kazakhstan, and the other places where people still live close to the land. C...