Sorry, this site requires JavaScript enabled.
Head of Zeus
The Wild Isles
The Wild Isles: An Anthology of the Best of British and Irish Nature Writing edited by Patrick Barkham

The very best of British and Irish nature writing selected by the natural history writer Patrick Barkham.

The landscapes of Britain and Ireland, together with the creatures and plants that inhabit them, have penetrated deep in our collective imagination. From Gilbert White and Dorothy Wordsworth to Laurie Lee and Nan Shepherd, literature inspired by the natural world has become an integral part of our shared identity, and shaped our relationship with the islands we call home.

In The Wild Isles, Patrick Barkham has gathered together a wide array of the very best of British and Irish nature writing, characterized by an arresting diversity of moods and voices. His choices are arranged under themes that range from birds, woods and coastlines to childhood, the seasons and urban nature, and juxtapose extracts from much-loved classics with passages by contemporary writers such as Robert Macfarlane, James Rebanks and Helen Macdonald. Here the reader will find joyful celebrations of landscape and the wildlife it nurtures, probing explorations of the environmental problems facing us today, as well as the fresh and vital perspectives of writers from underrepresented backgrounds. 'If British and Irish nature writing is to grow and endure,' writes Barkham in his introduction, 'it must be diverse, complex, multi-faceted and dynamic, and relevant to everyone who lives on this land.'

Encompassing the bleak heights of the Cairngorms, the ancient woodlands of Essex, the storm-lashed islands of Ireland's west coast and the lush fields of Devon, The Wild Isles highlights nature's capacity to terrify and to delight, to soothe and to heal, to surprise, inspire and bring wonder.

Head of Zeus, an Apollo book * Anthologies
04 Mar 2021 * 640pp * £8.99 * 9781789541397
REVIEWS
'A collection of wonderfully diverse, historic and contemporary attentive voices'
BBC Wildlife Magazine
'A brilliant introduction to nature writing, drawing together a large selection of British and Irish writing of the past and present [...] ensuring that familiarity and discovery are both on hand'
Cumbria Life
'What better way to start each day than by dipping into this attractive collection of prose writings that enrich our bond with the natural world?'
Country Life
PRAISE FOR PATRICK BARKHAM:

'To successfully combine this kind of travel writing and natural history with theories about cultural history requires accessible, rhythmic prose and a genial narrative voice, and [...] Barkham has both' Independent, on Coastlines.

'"Every day," writes Barkham, "there is something surprising, joyful and new to be found beside the sea." The same might be said of many pages of his book. Delightful' Sunday Telegraph, on Coastlines.

'Barkham's best chapters made me want to drop everything and go there. An intriguing, cerebral guidebook' The Times on Coastlines.

'Brimming with nature, this is a fitting tribute to the strangeness and beauty of our British isles'
 Financial Times, on Islander
Editor
Patrick Barkham
Patrick Barkham
Patrick Barkham is a natural history writer for the Guardian, and is one of a generation of British authors who have revitalized British nature writing. His books include The Butterfly Isles, Badgerlands, Islander, Coastlines and Wild Child, and he has been shortlisted for the Ondaatje Prize and the Wainwright Prize. He is currently writing the biography of acclaimed naturalist Roger Deakin. He lives in Norfolk with his family.
OTHER BOOKS YOU MIGHT LIKE