Herbs and the Earth: An Evocative Excursion into the Lure and Legend of Our Common Herbs

Overview

"Henry Beston is best known for The Outermost House, his record of a year spent on Cape Cod's outer beach. But here in Herbs and the Earth he moves inland and northward, to his beloved homestead in Nobleboro, Maine, to another adventure and a subject matter close to the earth and dear to his heart." "More than a gardening book, this is a singular example of a man thinking about what he grows, and into these conjectures weaving the fabric of the past. Here are the various herbs and their horticultural characteristics; but here, as well, are their
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Overview

"Henry Beston is best known for The Outermost House, his record of a year spent on Cape Cod's outer beach. But here in Herbs and the Earth he moves inland and northward, to his beloved homestead in Nobleboro, Maine, to another adventure and a subject matter close to the earth and dear to his heart." "More than a gardening book, this is a singular example of a man thinking about what he grows, and into these conjectures weaving the fabric of the past. Here are the various herbs and their horticultural characteristics; but here, as well, are their antecedents, their ancient lore, and their curious habits." "The mandrake and wormwood of the Bible, the hyssop and saffron from the Song of Songs, the rue, marjoram, and savory of Shakespeare, are all present. So, too, are the herbs of ancient Greece and Rome, the plants of the medieval medicinal garden and the crusades." In touch with the earth's cycles, Beston takes us on a tour through the seasons with these friends, a tour not soon forgotten, with a voice as sweet as song. Decorated with John Howard Benson's woodcuts and drawings, and introduced by Roger Swain, this edition does justice to one of this country's great writers and naturalists.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Beston (1888-1968), a New England naturalist and children's book author whose ``chosen home'' from 1944 on was a farm in Maine, here writes with an almost Proustian dedication about herbs as human ``familiars'' of ancient lineage. ``The green life of earth is a deeper life than we know,'' he avows, and walks a leisurely path through species including sage, marjoram, basil and other mainstays. Always exercising a ``gardener's musing mind,'' the author gently but firmly reproaches ``the age in which we live'' for having ``lost the earth,'' and exchanged this for a ``vulgar curse of gigantism,'' with gardens ``fallen into so impersonal a rut.'' Writing as an appreciator of ``subtleties of light'' and the revelations of ``a simple leaf,'' Beston pens a hymn in prose, out of print for a dozen years, of unusual depth and eloquence. BOMC alternate. (June)
Booknews
These reflections on herbs, gardens, and nature by naturalist/writer Beston (best known for The Outermost house, a record of a year spent on Cape Cod's beach) were first published in 1935 and are here lovingly reprinted letterpress with woodcuts by John Howard Benson and an introduction by Horticulture magazine editor Roger Swain. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781567921885
  • Publisher: Pocket Paragon from David R. Godine Publisher
  • Publication date: 11/28/2014
  • Pages: 168
  • Product dimensions: 5.62 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

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