Day 18: The Wildlife Trusts’ Big Wild Weekend kicks off today with a talk hosted by CEO, Craig Bennett. He chats to an exciting panel of authors who were inspired by the natural world! You can register for the free talk here.
Nature is one of life’s great inspirations and no wonder there are so many authors who were/are inspired by its cruelty, terror and sheer beauty. Below is a non exhaustive list of authors who have been thus inspired.
The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Graham
This classic children’s story published in 1908 focuses on the adventures of Mole, Rat, Toad and Badger and is an example of anthropomorphism. With it’s evocative descriptions of the Edwardian countryside it had to make this list.
Wind in the Willows
Animal Farm – George Orwell
Animal Farm – George Orwell
Another example of anthropomorphism, with farm yard animals overthrowing their human masters but in time themselves becoming corrupted. Orwell’s anti-utopian satire is based on the Russian Revolution.
The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkein
Tolkein heavily uses the natural world as a backdrop for his The Lord of the Rings saga. There are mountain ranges, rivers and old gnarly woods. He also uses anthropomorphism with his Ents (trees), giving them voices and personalities. The Lord of the Rings highlights that industrialisation creates an alienation with the natural world.
H is for Hawk by Helen McDonald
H is for Hawk – Helen McDonald
This 2014 memoir recalls the author coming to terms with her grief as she trains her unruly goshawk. This book speaks loud and clear of how wildlife and nature can heal a broken heart and mind.
The Lost Words – Robert McFarlane
It’s not just adults who are becoming disconnected with nature, children too are not learning of the magic from the natural world. Words like, conker, ivy, raven are becoming lost and this book of spells beautifully illustrated by Jackie Morris hopes to rectify that.
The Lost Words
A Walk in the Woods – Bill Bryson
Bryson’s 1998 autobiographical account of his attempt to walk the Appalachian Trail, shows him struggling to cope in the American wilderness.
Crow – Ted Hughes – Crow
The rural landscape of Hughes’ birthplace, Yorkshire had a lasting impression on his poetry, especially the animals that populated the rolling moors. Crow, The Thought Fox and the Hawk in the Rain are just a few of his collections.
Bird Therapy – Joe Harkness
The author, struggling with his mental health, writes this memoir highlighting the importance of nature on our well being. Using bird watching as a way out of depression.
Many Victorian novelists were heavily inspired by nature, such as the Brontë’s, Thomas Hardy and Charles’ Dickens. Not to mention the romantic poets, William Wordsworth and his Daffodils, John Keats’ Ode to a Nightingale and Percy Bysshe Shelley’s To a Skylark.
What is your favourite nature inspired book?
Thanks for reading, and stay wild!