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Distributed for Reaktion Books

Enchanted Forests

The Poetic Construction of a World before Time

Linking literature, philosophy, art, and personal experience, a moving exploration of the wooded landscape’s power.
In 1985 Boria Sax inherited an area of forest in New York State, which had been purchased by his Russian, Jewish, and Communist grandparents as a buffer against what they felt was a hostile world. For Sax, in the years following, the woodland came to represent a link with those who currently live and had lived there, including Native Americans, settlers, bears, deer, turtles, and migrating birds. In this personal and eloquent account, Sax explores the meanings and cultural history of forests from prehistory to the present, taking in Gilgamesh, Virgil, Dante, the Gawain poet, medieval alchemists, the Brothers Grimm, Hudson River painters, Latin American folklore, contemporary African novelists, and much more. Combining lyricism with contemporary scholarship, Sax opens new emotional, intellectual, and environmental perspectives on the storied history of the forest.

320 pages | 60 color plates, 39 halftones | 6 1/4 x 9 1/4

Biological Sciences: Conservation

Earth Sciences: Environment

History: Environmental History

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“An adrenaline-fueled journey around the world. . . . Beauty and wisdom flash out at us on every page of this captivating volume.”

Maria Tatar, author of "The Heroine with 1001 Faces"

Table of Contents

Introduction: Forests and Memory
1 Wood and Leaves
2 The World Tree
3 Mythic Beings
4 Conquest of the Woods
5 The Royal Hunt
6 The Forest and Death
7 Lord of the Forest
8 Lady of the Forest
9 The Classical, Rococo and Gothic Woods
10 The Primeval Forest
11 The Forest of Dreams
12 The Law of the Jungle
13 The Man with the Big Axe
14 The Politics of Trees
15 The River in the Forest

Timeline of Forests in Culture
Further Reading
Photo Acknowledgements

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