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Meetings with Remarkable Trees Paperback – November 10, 1998

4.9 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Thomas Pakenham, a distinguished historian of Africa, takes a new tack by writing an old-fashioned kind of book: a catalog of trees of the British Isles. The last such book was published in 1826. In Meetings with Remarkable Trees Pakenham assembles a beautifully photographed gallery of 60-odd trees of Scotland, England, and Ireland, and magnificent trees they are. One is a 600-year-old king oak that looms large over Charleville, Ireland; another is the yew tree that Wordsworth called the "pride of Lorton's vale"; still another is a sequoia brought from the United States and planted in a Herefordshire grove in 1851, where it has since flourished. Pakenham helpfully includes a map showing the locations of his scattered dramatis personae; you could make a fine tour retracing his steps and having a look for yourself. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Thomas Pakenham will attend the Edinburgh Festival on 25/8/03 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; 1st U.S. Pbk. Ed edition (November 10, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375752684
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375752681
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 0.6 x 11.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #178,738 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Thomas Pakenham has presented us with a wonderfully photographed essay into the lives of living legends. This book is a superb blend of poetry, philosophy and photography of living giants of the Earth. From native trees of Britain to New World immigrants, he has captured the essence of trees as giants. Part dendrology and part philosophy, no home library should be without this magnificent work. Ancient trees are inspirational in nature and this book presents a photographic essay that will inspire all who read it. A must have for the library of any tree enthusiast!
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Format: Paperback
This quality book contains large photographs and interesting historical text concerning sixty eccentric, distinctive and unforgettably beautiful huge old trees. You might think that a book about trees would be dull. Some of us do take trees for granted but this book will not fail to impress you and cause you to re-examine the individual beauty that each tree exhibits. Imagine the ancient yew tree beneath whose branches legend says conspirators plotted the murder of Mary, Queen of Scots' 2nd husband,the Earl of Darnley. You have to crawl under its drooping gnarled branches like you are entering an igloo. The dome they create is 60 feet high and 400 feet in circumference. The photograph is taken from inside this arboreal dome and we are treated to the light peeking through the ancient branches. We feel we are in a magical place indeed. As one who is growing a baby Yew so small that I can easily step over her while watering the garden, this enormous old Yew inspires and amazes me. It is only one of SIXTY similar treasures of Nature this book shares. Take the tour!
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Format: Paperback
This book was everything I'd hoped for -- and less and more! I'd hoped for a book full of beautiful photographs of large old trees, and it is that, indeed. It is also a bit less than I'd hoped, being trees only of the United Kingdom, and I would dearly love to have this author give a similar treatment to the gentle giants inhabiting other parts of the world.
It is also much more than I'd expected, being filled with enchanting stories of the 60 (groups of) trees Pakenham has chosen to introduce. Each tree (group) is beautifully photographed, often with people nearby so you can get a sense of their immensity, and the images are accompanied by a few pages of text filled with delightful anecdotes and histories.
Making the book even more valuable for travellers is a gazetteer with a map of the UK showing each tree's location as well as information regarding its common name, scientific name, full measurements and accessibilty to the public. Unfortunately none of the sixty are located in Wales, but there are 8 in Ireland, 10 in Scotland and 42 in England, including 10 in the London area. The book is interspersed with olde line drawings, and the book concludes with a bibliography, credits for the illustrations and a good index.
If you love trees or travel to Great Britain, you will want to meet this remarkable book. Highest recommendation.
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Format: Hardcover
The book contains remarkable pictures from a photographic point of view.
They display fine detail and the size of the pages on which they are printed
adds even more impact to their splendour.

Not to forget the accompanying text: Pakenham, who is widely travelled, tells the reader
stories that suggest he has a personal relationship with each of
the trees reviewed in the book.

A must for the shelf of every dendrophile
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Format: Paperback
When I go to Massachusetts, I always go to the Minuteman Park so I can visit my favorite beech trees. On a recent visit I went to the Newport Mansions and was awestruck at the sight of a huge, beautiful weeping beech tree at the Elms mansion. I stood under it and the branches enveloped me as the tree on the cover of Thomas Pakenham's book envelopes him. After touring the mansion I saw his book in the gift shop. It's a beautiful book with incredible photography and narrative. I highly recommend it to anyone who appreciates and/or loves trees.
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By H. Rose on December 12, 2002
Format: Paperback
Meetings With Remarkable Trees is Fascinating! I love this book. It's not just about big or old trees, it's about interesting trees. Trees with stories, or histories. Trees noted in past botanical books or by ancient poets, looked for today - some found alive, some are found 'dead on their feet' as he puts it. He groups the trees by personalities - such as the natives, travellers, mothers, survivors, shrines. Filled with tree lore, fact and legend both. Gorgeous photography interspersed throughout the whole book. Enchanting.
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By A Customer on September 7, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When I first heard about this book I thought the idea was a bit silly. Well, the only thing silly was my premature judgment . This is a beautiful volume that showcases some of the most awe inspiring trees to grace the countryside of Great Britain. The photographer smartly captures the best of 60 chosen specimens, often including a human or two in the picture so the reader can grasp the magnificent size of these green giants. Pictures tend slightly toward the overexposed end of the spectrum so that maximum detail can be discerned. Each photo is accompanied by a brief, but informative description that makes each 'meeting' more meaningful. The only disappoinment was that not enough data was provided for those inclined to go visit these remarkable trees in person.
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