The Cabaret of Plants: botany and the imagination

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The Cabaret of Plants is a masterful, globe-trotting exploration of the relationship between humans and the kingdom of plants by the renowned naturalist Richard Mabey.

A rich, sweeping, and wonderfully readable work of botanical history, The Cabaret of Plants explores dozens of plant species that for millennia have challenged our imaginations, awoken our wonder, and upturned our ideas about history, science, beauty, and belief. Going back to the beginnings of human history, Mabey shows how flowers, trees, and plants have been central to human experience not just as sources of food and medicine but as objects of worship, actors in creation myths, and symbols of war and peace, life and death.

Writing in a celebrated style that the Economist calls "delightful and casually learned," Mabey takes readers from the Himalayas to Madagascar to the Amazon to our own backyards. He ranges through the work of writers, artists, and scientists such as da Vinci, Keats, Darwin, and van Gogh and across nearly 40,000 years of human history: Ice Age images of plant life in ancient cave art and the earliest representations of the Garden of Eden; Newton's apple and gravity, Priestley's sprig of mint and photosynthesis, and Wordsworth's daffodils; the history of cultivated plants such as maize, ginseng, and cotton; and the ways the sturdy oak became the symbol of British nationhood and the giant sequoia came to epitomize the spirit of America.

Complemented by dozens of full-color illustrations, The Cabaret of Plants is the magnum opus of a great naturalist and an extraordinary exploration of the deeply interwined history of humans and the natural world.

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ISBN:
9781515924098
9781847654014
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID 5892c4c0-5031-b969-1550-1f56646da8c1
Grouping Title cabaret of plants botany and the imagination
Grouping Author mabey richard
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2018-08-16 01:11:54AM
Last Indexed 2018-08-16 04:49:30AM

Solr Details

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auth_author2 Lister, Ralph.
author Richard Mabey
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author_display Mabey, Richard
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In The Cabaret of Plants, Mabey explores the plant species which have challenged our imaginations, awoken our wonder, and upturned our ideas about history, science, beauty and belief.

Picked from every walk of life, they encompass crops, weeds, medicines, religious gathering-places and a water lily named after a queen. Beginning with pagan cults and creation myths, the cultural significance of plants has burst upwards, sprouting into forms as diverse as the panacea (the cure-all plant ginseng, a single root of which can cost up to $10,000), Newton's apple, the African 'vegetable elephant' or boabab - and the mystical, night-flowering Amazonian cactus, the moonflower.

Ranging widely across science, art and cultural history, poetry and personal experience, Mabey puts plants centre stage, and reveals a true botanical cabaret, a world of tricksters, shape-shifters and inspired problem-solvers, as well as an enthralled audience of romantics, eccentric amateur scientists and transgressive artists. The Cabaret of Plants celebrates the idea that plants are not simply 'the furniture of the planet', but vital, inventive, individual beings worthy of respect - and that to understand this may be the best way of preserving life together on Earth.

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publishDate 2015, 2016
record_details hoopla:MWT11626081|eAudiobook|Audio Books|Unabridged.|English|Tantor Audio ,|2016.|1 online resource (1 audio file (11hr., 16 min.)) : digital., overdrive:14865ad8-a793-4175-8c41-937ba6ec1b93|eBook|eBook||English|Profile|2015|
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subject_facet Botany -- History, Human-plant relationships, Imagination -- History, Plants -- History
title_display The Cabaret of Plants
title_full The Cabaret of Plants Botany and the Imagination, The cabaret of plants : botany and the imagination [electronic resource] / Richard Mabey
title_short The Cabaret of Plants
title_sub botany and the imagination
topic_facet Biography & Autobiography, Botany, Gardening, History, Human-plant relationships, Imagination, Nonfiction, Plants, Sociology