The Perfumier and the Stinkhorn

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Profile Books, 2011 - Natural history - 110 pages
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In these elegant, short essays, revered nature writer Richard Mabey attempts to marry a Romantic's view of the natural world with that of the meticulous observations of the scientist. By Romanticism, he refers to the view that nature isn't a machine to be dissected, but a community of which we, the observers, are inextricably part. And that our feelings about that community are a perfectly proper subject for reflection, because they shape our relationship with it. Scientists eshew such a subjective response, wanting to witness the natural world exactly, whatever feelings subsequently follow. Our feelings are an extension of our senses - sight, taste, smell, touch and sound - and here, in a sextet of inspiring meditations, Mabey explores each sensory response in what it means to interact with nature. From birdsong to poetry, from Petri-dish to microscope, this is a joyful union of meandering thoughts and intimate memories.

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About the author (2011)

Richard Mabey is Britain's foremost nature writer. In September 2010 Profile published Weeds; the first cultural history on the unwanted plants in our gardens, and throughout the world. He is the author of Flora Britannica, which won a British Book Award, and Birds Britannica. He has a regular column in BBC Wildlife magazine and has written extensively on nature for the national broadsheets.

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