What would happen, I wondered, if I simply missed out the fifty per cent of the population whose voices have been credited with shaping this particular ‘cultural form’. If I coppiced the woodland, so to speak, and allowed the light to shine down to the forest floor and illuminate countless saplings now that a gap has opened in the canopy. .
. This landmark anthology brings together the work of over a hundred women, from the fourteenth century to the present day, who have written about the natural world in Britain, Ireland and the outlying islands of our archipelago. Alongside the traditional forms of the travelogue – the walking guide, observations of birds, plants and wildlife – Women on Nature embraces alternative modes of seeing and recording that turn the genre on its head.
Katharine Norbury has sifted through the pages of women’s fiction, poetry, gardening diaries and recipe books to show the multitude ways in which women have observed the natural world from the religious writing of the anchorite Julian of Norwich to the seventeenth-century travel journal of Celia Fiennes; from the exquisite poetry of Emily Bronte to the adventurous mountaineering journal of Dorothy Pilley. Featuring new writing by Nancy Campbell, Sara Evans, Sinead Gleeson, Amy Liptrot, Helen Mort and Anita Sethi, and classic extracts from the work of Kate Bradbury, Melissa Harrison, Kathleen Jamie, Jackie Kay, Helen Macdonald, Sara Maitland, Irenosen Okojie and Jini Reddy alongside new voices from across the archipelago, Women on Nature presents a vision of the natural world that is of importance in terms of women’s history and the history of writing about nature.
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