The Wildest Place on Earth: Italian Gardens and the Invention of Wilderness / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 87%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (23) from $1.99   
  • New (7) from $8.50   
  • Used (16) from $1.99   

Overview

"In The Wildest Place on Earth John Hanson Mitchell sets out on a journey to uncover the essence of wilderness. Instead of traveling to the outermost boundaries of the earth in his quest, he ends up exploring the green realms of his childhood and the haunted gardens of Italy, the original source of inspiration for the painters and conservationists who shaped the American concept of wilderness." "Searching for wildness, Mitchell is ultimately pulled inward toward home, back to what Thoreau called "contact" - an abiding, enduring, and daily connection with the world of nature. He comes to realize that the wildest place may be right in his own backyard."--BOOK JACKET.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
The editor of Sanctuary, the journal of the Massachusetts Audubon Society, offers an unusual twist on the genre of nature writing by using Italian garden design as a framework for exploring the meaning of wildness. This is not as much of a stretch as you might imagine. Over the centuries, Italian gardens have always incorporated wild spaces as part of the overall design. It is the balance of order and disorder, of control and freedom that gives these gardens their special qualities.

I took a particular interest in this book, having procured my own small urban garden. Like the author, I, too, had sought nature in the properly designated places, such as the Catskills, so I was interested in knowing if he thought the possibility for wildness could exist in some landscape of human creation. In John Hanson Mitchell's case, his home in the woods ensured that wild nature was always a presence. I enjoyed his tales of creating an Italian garden in the middle of the forest, complete with a formal hedge maze, but what struck me was his sensitivity to the unexpected moments of wildness to be found in domesticated spaces. Pan, the archaic embodiment of wildness, figures prominently in the book. After finishing it -- which took longer than usual because I couldn't bring myself to rush through it -- I came away with the hope that Pan might visit me one day in my little sanctuary.

The Wildest Place on Earth is a lovely meditation on the relationship between the creations of humankind and those of nature. (Laura Wood, Science & Nature Editor)

Boston Globe
A natural story teller, as keen an observer of the people he talks about as he is about what grows and lives on the land itself.
Richard Nelson
A unique, delightful, and absolutely essential voice.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Mitchell (Ceremonial Time) opens this lush, labyrinthine book with his long-ago encounter, in the American desert, with "a wildman," "who claimed you could live forever in the wilderness with two or three milk goats and a working knowledge of edible plants." The younger Mitchell embraced this philosophy, but, ultimately, it was in "the most thoroughly transformed landscape of all, the hedged terraces, all es, pathways, pools, fountains, and hidden rooms of what was left of the old Renaissance gardens of Italy" that he "rediscovered that old sense of goatly wildness." From the great mazes of ancient Egypt to the 12th-century hedge maze where Henry II's wife murdered his mistress, to the construction of his own backyard maze and tea house, Mitchell explores the wilderness of the human imagination and "the undiscovered country of the nearby." Three of what Thoreau would have called "clews" to Mitchell's project keep cropping up: first, Thoreau's idea of "Contact," or oneness with nature; second, the contrast between conceptions of true wilderness "as a separate place" with "a certain aura of power or ability to bestow information or insight" and the construction of the garden; and finally, the beloved demigod Pan, who physically embodies both the untamed forests and deserts (his goat half) and sculpted gardens (his human half). Part travelogue, part garden history in the tradition of Edith Wharton's Italian Villas and Their Gardens, this poetic little book traces the transportation of humankind to the wilderness and the transformation of the wild into rich human habitat. (Apr. 1) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Booknews
Mitchell, editor of the National Audubon Society magazine and author of natural and human history books, deals with the perennial human quest for inspiration in wild places, and the irony of finding it not in the remote wilderness of the mountains but in the well-ordered, cultivated gardens of Europe<-->and his own back garden in Massachusetts. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781582432151
  • Publisher: Counterpoint Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 1,395,017
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Prologue
1 Contact 3
2 The Great Forest 12
3 The Garden in the Woods 23
4 In a Green Shade 45
5 The Genteel Romantics 70
6 Italian Reveries 90
7 Into the Wild 104
8 The Italian Debt 123
9 The Cathedral in the Pines 138
10 The Fate of Earth 151
11 Backyard Serengeti 173
Epilogue: The Persistence of Pan 187
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)