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Pilgrimage to Vallombrosa: From Vermont to Italy in the Footsteps of George Perkins Marsh (Under the Sign of Nature) Paperback – May 29, 2008

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Product Details

  • Series: Under the Sign of Nature
  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: University of Virginia Press (May 29, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813927161
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813927169
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,198,080 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Vermont native George Perkins Marsh was a significant member of the nineteenth--century conservation movement, and his Man and Nature (1864) has proven to be both prophetic and influential. His prose is rather dense and formal, however, so he has been overlooked of late. English professor and nature writer Elder sought to rectify that situation by following Marsh's footsteps both in Vermont and Italy, where Marsh served as U.S. ambassador. Elder traveled to Italy with his wife and juxtaposes their modern tale of academic research and appreciation against Marsh's experiences. Elder also mines the words of other early conservationists and traces the link between Marsh's pioneering work and that of others, such as Rachel Carson and Aldo Leopold. Elder's avid appreciation for and analyses of the places Marsh loved reveal the heart of a man who proved that concern for the environment was alive and well under Lincoln. Recommended for those interested in conservation and ecology. Colleen Mondor
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


"Set aside your Bella Tuscanys and Year in Provences for a different kind of travel book. Pilgrimage to Vallombrosa puts a walking stick in your hand and Marsh's Man and Nature in your knapsack, exploring how Italians have managed their natural and cultural heritage in ways that sustain both. John Elder's poetic meditations on land and life demonstrate that only by searching beyond our familiar boundaries can we discover better ways of living back at home." - Marcus Hall, author of Earth Repair: A Transatlantic History of Environmental Restoration "This collaboration - between George Perkins Marsh and John Elder, between Vermont and Italy, between maple and olive - is one of the smartest, soundest, deepest books about the relationship between people and nature that I've ever read. It will be a classic." - Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature "Elder's impassioned pilgrimage shows us how to delight in messy wilderness, to secure a curative habitation of the world, and, with Marsh, to lend ecological nous to our gravest task: knowing ourselves and respecting one another. Let the maple seeds and olive stones of Elder's visionary harvest restore to us a reflective and redemptory future." - from the foreword by David Lowenthal"

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The first half of this book was really well written, engaging and a great read. Then it turned into a more academic voice that was less intriguing.
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