“Fascinating biographies of extraordinary trees. Wonder at the diversity of the natural world shines through on every page“ [Richard Deverell, Director, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew]
My parents gave me a lifelong interest in the science and beauty of plants and this is the result – a labour of love (or possibly just a labour for my lovely publisher Laurence King and wonderful illustrator, French artist Lucille Clerc).
I wanted to inspire readers with a love for trees but also a wish to protect them and their habitats, alongside an appreciation of the crazy things they get up to. I’ve tried to show how aspects of plant science have affected the relationships between different tree species and people, animals and other plants, and to uncover and tell the curious and sometimes downright bizarre stories about them.
“This is the best love letter to trees I have ever read. Had I written it myself, I would die happy” [Sir Tim Smit, Founder of the Eden Project]
Around the World in 80 Trees is aimed at an educated but lay, audience. So I’ve tried to combine popular science with history and human stories together with cultural aspects such as religion and etymology. I’ve drawn on recent (peer-reviewed) academic work and am hoping that well-informed people from different backgrounds will find things they hadn’t known, or arguments that are new. There’s a pretty even spread of species from all over the world. (e.g. For southern England I chose Leylandii, a botanically intriguing monster hybrid that says so much about the British and their attitude to privacy and marking territory. There are quite a few US trees, each with their local angle based on the tree’s attributes). The book is gorgeously illustrated; I think Lucille Clerc has done a beautiful job and the designers at Laurence King have made a book in which words and pictures properly complement each other and that is beautiful, disturbingly tactile and has a satisfying heft.
My motivation is to inspire love and interest and to get the widest possible readership for light-touch but recurring themes such as biodiversity, climate change, sustainable use, and even the scientific method but to do so by telling accessible and surprising human, scientific and historical stories. I will be donating UK proceeds to various environmental charities such as Kew, the WWF and The Woodland Trust.
“I have loved trees all my life. It’s fascinating to understand the role they play, not just in our lives, but life as a whole“ [Dame Judi Dench]
Available in English from Laurence King Publishers and please consider your lovely local independent bookstore! Also available from the usual outlets in USA, Canada, Australia etc. Erhältlich in deutscher Sprache von Amazon.de