A moving and intimate portrait of nature during the lockdown spring of 2020 - the first book to document the environmental impact of this world-historical event.
'As our lives constrict again, the long spring lockdown already seems a lifetime ago. But that beautiful and frightening time has been perfectly captured in The Consolation of Nature...It's lovely: full of fascinating detail and anecdote, but the undertow of the virus moving in real time beneath its sunlit surface gives it a unique emotional heft.'
-Melissa Harrison, The Times 'What joy! . . . There's acute and beautiful observation on every page, thrown into exquisite relief by the poignancy of the circumstances.'
'A powerful and moving reflection on the solace brought by nature and its power as a balm for stressed-out lives.'
-Caroline Lucas, Green MP
'An entrancing testament to nature's power to restore us to ourselves.'
Nature took on a new importance for many people when the coronavirus pandemic arrived, providing solace in a time of great anxiety - not least because the crisis struck at the beginning of spring, the season of light, growth, rebirth and renewal.
Three writers, close friends but living in widely separated, contrasting parts of the country, resolved to record their experiences of this extraordinary spring in intimate detail, to share with others their sense of the wonder, inspiration and delight the natural world can offer.
The Consolation of Nature is the story of what they discovered by literally walking out from their front doors.
They all write superbly and their styles and perspectives are sufficiently different to add variety to the passage... but not so different that any grates with the others. It is so beautifully written
Michael McCarthy (Author)
Michael McCarthy is one of Britain's leading environmental journalists, formerly environment correspondent of The Times and environment editor of The Independent. He has won a string of awards for his writing, including the Medal of the RSPB, for 'outstanding services to conservation.' His book Say Goodbye to the Cuckoo (2009), a study of Britain's summer migrant birds, was widely praised; The Moth Snowstorm: Nature and Joy (2015) was shortlisted for the Wainwright Prize and the Richard Jefferies Prize.
Jeremy Mynott (Author)
Jeremy Mynott is a classical scholar, Emeritus Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge and former Chief Executive of Cambridge University Press. He is the author of various books on wildlife and nature. Birdscapes: birds in our experience and imagination (2009) was described by one reviewer as 'the finest book ever written on why we watch birds'. His latest book, Birds in the Ancient World: Winged Words (2018), was shortlisted for the Wolfson History Prize and was a TLS 'Book of the Year'.
Peter Marren (Author)
Peter Marren is a nature writer and commentator, author of Bugs Britannica, Rainbow Dust, Chasing the Ghost and many other books on British plants, insects, and the countryside. He won the BSBI President's Prize for Britain's Rare Flowers, which was also runner-up for the Natural World Book Prize. He was awarded the Thackray Medal for The New Naturalists by the Society for the History of Natural History. His satirical column in British Wildlife magazine, Twitcher in the Swamp, has a cult following.