The Long, Long Life of Trees

The Long Long Life of Trees A lyrical tribute to the diversity of trees their physical beauty their special characteristics and uses and their ever evolving meaningsSince the beginnings of history trees have served humankind

  • Title: The Long, Long Life of Trees
  • Author: Fiona Stafford
  • ISBN: 9780300207330
  • Page: 484
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A lyrical tribute to the diversity of trees, their physical beauty, their special characteristics and uses, and their ever evolving meaningsSince the beginnings of history trees have served humankind in countless useful ways, but our relationship with trees has many dimensions beyond mere practicality Trees are so entwined with human experience that diverse species have iA lyrical tribute to the diversity of trees, their physical beauty, their special characteristics and uses, and their ever evolving meaningsSince the beginnings of history trees have served humankind in countless useful ways, but our relationship with trees has many dimensions beyond mere practicality Trees are so entwined with human experience that diverse species have inspired their own stories, myths, songs, poems, paintings, and spiritual meanings Some have achieved status as religious, cultural, or national symbols.In this beautifully illustrated volume Fiona Stafford offers intimate, detailed explorations of seventeen common trees, from ash and apple to pine, oak, cypress, and willow The author also pays homage to particular trees, such as the fabled Ankerwyke Yew, under which Henry VIII courted Anne Boleyn, and the spectacular cherry trees of Washington, D.C Stafford discusses practical uses of wood past and present, tree diseases and environmental threats, and trees potential contributions toward slowing global climate change Brimming with unusual topics and intriguing facts, this book celebrates trees and their long, long lives as our inspiring and beloved natural companions.

    One thought on “The Long, Long Life of Trees”

    1. A catalog of trees, each entry detailing folklore, myth, science, history, and social custom related to each tree. Seventeen trees are covered, beginning with Yew and ending with Apple (they were not arranged in any order I could discern), and generous black and white illustrations added much to my enjoyment. Stafford's style is appealing, and the stories of each tree are sprinkled with amusing anecdotes and selections from literature and poetry. One minor problem for me was that there is a cert [...]

    2. Suffering from misleading blurb syndromeIn her short introduction Stafford tells us of her life-long love for trees, and discusses the place they have held through the generations in myth and art. She points to the ambivalence of our attitude towards trees: our love, occasionally even worship, of them contrasting with our continuing destruction of forests. Some of the language she uses is lovely - evocative, lyrical even.The book then takes the format of a short chapter per species of tree. Whil [...]

    3. I love looking at trees they can be so majestic at times. I'm quite lucky in that my place at work has some nice grounds with a wide range of trees available to see, some are hundreds of years old, we even have a couple of oaks where the trunks are nearly 2m in diameter. I'm always checking them out looking for places to build a treehouseonce I figure out how to get work to authorise that as my new office. We have one tree, I've no idea what type it is but it's in the middle of a meadow on it's [...]

    4. Whilst it is a genre which I perhaps do not read much, I love nature writing, and Fiona Stafford’s The Long, Long Life of Trees felt to me like the perfect autumnal read. Here, the Oxford University lecturer presents ‘a lyrical tribute to the diversity of trees, their physical beauty, their special characteristics and uses, and their ever-evolving meanings’. I had never read a book which was purely about trees before I came to this one, aside from, I suppose, Sarah Maitland’s Gossip from [...]

    5. I'm loving this book. Every chapter is filled with a treasure trove of wonderful little tidbits that you can explore further. A myriad of facts, along with historical connections to how these magnificent trees influence our lives. A perfect gift for those who love literary connections to the garden.

    6. The library classification number, placing this book in mythology, is more informative than the title. This book is disappointingly more about myths than about trees. It is more about what people think of particular trees than about the trees themselves. Sometimes Stafford doesn’t even provide the scientific name of the tree, as in the chapters on “Ash” and “Sycamore.” Often the reader doesn’t get the true name of the tree until several pages into the chapter, as with the “Rowan” [...]

    7. I picked up this book because I have a friend who is very interested in trees, thinking it might be a good thing to give him as a gift. It is a collection of short pieces, essays really, each covering the natural and social history of a specific tree. I didn't read every chapter, but only the ones that particularly interested me. The author is British, so many of the stories focus on trees found in Britain, but she does a good job describing trees from all over the world. It is well written and [...]

    8. Fiona Stafford, like me, is a literature student with an amateur interest in trees. Unlike me, she's taken both interests further. She teaches literature at Oxford and has written this wonderful book about trees. The book is made up of 17 chapters, each devoted to a different species of tree, delving into their scientific, medical, literary, religious, mythical and conservation aspects. The writing is very good. At a time when trees all over the world face unprecedented threats from invasive fun [...]

    9. A fascinating book written with a lyricism and genuine love for its subject. Baffled by previous descriptions of “workmanlike” prose - the language is beautiful and while there’s a slight formula to each chapter, that’s necessary to control what could otherwise be a sprawling and limitless piece of writing. This is accessible and interesting, and I’ve learned a huge amount from it.

    10. A sweet and light read about the history of modern trees. It was very relaxing to read and the formula of the chapters was fun and light without being frivolous. The only thing I would say is that as an American reader, not every reference made entire sense to me, but I did still enjoy it quite a bit.

    11. A beautiful read to dip into one chapter at a time. With the long lazy summer days ahead this is a delightful book to have by your side as you enjoy the sun and your garden. Lovely mix of botanical and folklore of each tree.

    12. I read this mainly because the author was my tutor at university. I can see how it would have worked as a radio programme. I found it a bit bitty as a book though. A bit of a mishmash between the literary side of trees and the botanical side - I'd have preferred more of either one or the other.

    13. Absolutely delightful, even if you have just a passing interest in things arboreal. Great mix of science, literature, symbolism.

    14. Received via Abili and NetGalley in exchange for an completely unbiased review.Also posted on Silk & SerifThe Long, Long Life of Trees was not at all what I expected. I wanted a novel that would cover the historical, cultural and mythological history of trees in a way that would encompass a large variety of trees. The hope was that I would glean information that would make me a hit at parties and give me knowledge about a subject that would be fun to pull out while chatting in the office” [...]

    15. The Long, Long Life of Trees is a brief, but thorough and poetic, exploration of the history, uses, and symbolism of a variety of trees. In each chapter, Fiona Stafford focuses on a different tree ranging from the commonly revered oak to the magical Rowan tree. After reading this book, I'm even more aware of the ways that trees oversee our lives, the small moments and the big moments. The ways that they mark our passing and inform our stories. In the end, Stafford shows that the stories of indiv [...]

    16. A brief but lyrical look at the many different variety of trees, their history, folklore, medicinal and practical uses. Beautifully illustrated throughout with black and white drawings this is a joy to read and a great jumping off point into the wonderful world of dendrology. The author's passion for the subject is clear throughout and it's hard not to share in her sheer delight and wonder in our leafy companions. The perfect book for anyone with a mild to moderate curiosity about trees.

    17. An entertaining survey of various trees, mainly focused on cultural associations and practical uses. I enjoyed reading but I also felt it only skimmed the surface. There was an air of encyclopaedia about it.

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