Random House, Jun 19, 2008 - 240 pages
In the last year of the old millennium, Richard Mabey, Britain's foremost nature writer, fell into a severe depression. For two years,he did little more than lie in bed with his face to a wall. He could neither work nor play. His money ran out. Worst of all, the natural world - which since childhood had been a source of joy and inspiration for him - became meaningless. Then, cared for by friends, he gradually recovered. He fell in love. Out of necessity as much as choice he moved to East Anglia. And he started to write again. This remarkable book is an account of that first year of a new life. It is the story of a rite of passage -from sickness into health, from retreat into curiosity. It is about the adventure of learning to fit again. Having left the cosseting woods of the Chiltern hills for the open flatlands of Norfolk, Richard Mabey finds exhilaration in discovering a whole new landscape. He writes about the changing seasons in prose so exact andso beautiful that every sentence delights the reader. But Nature Cure is also alarger story. In finding his own niche, Richard Mabey gained insights into our human place in nature. He reflects on the inherent value of all creatures; on our presumptions that mankind is superior; on the ancient morality of commonland; and above all on the role of the imagination -not as a barrier between us and nature, but as our best way back to it. This was his 'nature cure': not a passive submission to nature, but anactive, sensual re-engagement.