Gossip from the Forest: The Tangled Roots of Our Forests and Fairytales
Fairytales are one of our earliest and most vital cultural forms, and forests one of our most ancient and primal landscapes. Both evoke a similar sensation in us – we find them beautiful and magical, but also spooky, sometimes horrifying. Sara Maitland argues that the two forms are intimately connected: the mysterious secrets and silences, gifts and perils of the forests were the background and the source of fairytales. Yet both forests and fairy stories are at risk and their loss deprives us of our cultural lifeblood. In her new book, Gossip from the Forest, Maitland visits forests through the seasons, from the exquisite green of a beechwood in spring, to the muffled stillness of a snowy pine wood in winter. She takes a barefoot walk through Epping Forest with Robert Macfarlane; she walks with a mushroom expert through an oak wood, and with a miner through the Forest of Dean. Maitland ends each chapter with a unique, imaginative re-telling of a fairy story. Gossip from the Forest is a magical and unique blend of nature writing, history and imaginative fiction.
Read reviews of Maitland’s book HERE on our blog.
Sara Maitland is the author of numerous works of fiction, including the Somerset Maugham Award-winning Daughters of Jerusalem, The Book of Silence and several non-fiction books about religion. Born in 1950, she studied at Oxford University and currently tutors on the MA in creative writing for Lancaster University. The Observer called Maitland’s new book, Gossip from the Forest, ‘A wonderfully enthusiastic Guide to her twinned realms, writing gleefully of crystal brain fungi and the “strange smokey shimmer”‘ of bluebells. Her relish is infectious, and I suspect as well as hope her 12 woods will see some new faces this year.’ Visit her website at www.saramaitland.com.
If you would like to subscribe to our RSS Comments feed, please click on the orange XML logo below (click here to read more about our RSS feeds).
** Should you wish to retract a comment, or if you experience technical difficulties, please email us at: email@example.com. We reserve the right to delete posts containing offensive language or content.