Trees are special, being bigger than us both physically and metaphorically. Trees: Woodlands and Western Civilization is an account of our relationship with them. Adam and Eve were expelled from Eden for eating from the Tree of Knowledge and the great tree Yggdrasil was central to Norse mythology. Tacitus, followed by German nationalists and historians of liberty, located freedom in the German forests. Medieval forests were both protected hunting parks and the refuge of Robin Hood. Shakespeare contrasted the simplicity of life in the Forest of Arden with the artificial manners of the court, and indeed poets from Virgil to Hardy have drawn inspiration from trees. While eighteenth-century aristocrats controlled trees in plantations around their houses, Romantics delighted in trvast untamed forests, and the American Henry Thoreau withdrew into the woods to reintegrate himself with nature. Our views of trees have also been affected by the changing use of woodland and the effects of deforestation and urbanization. How we see trees today will dictate how trees are treated in the future.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Roots and Branches Chapter 2: Gods Chapter 3: Harts and Boars Chapter 4: Exiles Chapter 5: Outlaws Chapter 6: Lovers Chapter 7: Patriots Chapter 8: Altdeutsche Walder Chapter 9: Big Trees Chapter 10: Patrician Trees Chapter 11: Plebian Underwood Chapter 12: Woodlanders Chapter 13: Dreamers Chapter 14: Experts Chapter 15: Green Men
RICHARD HAYMAN is an archeologist and architectural historian who writes on the history of the British landscape. He is the author of Riddles in Stone: Myths, Archaeology and the Ancient Britains