The Cabaret of Plants: Forty Thousand Years of Plant Life and the Human Imagination

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With delicate elegance and touches of delightful wit, British naturalist Richard Mabey chronicles the story of plants through the ages. Looking at history, literature, and the life cycle of botanical forms, the author transforms these photosynthesizing forms into enchanting creatures with their inimitable genetics and mysterious means of survival and reproduction.

Fascinating facts emerge, one being that the design of the Amazonian megaflower, the world’s largest waterlily served as the template for London’s Crystal Palace of 1851. In the American West, the pioneers were awed by the giant sequoia which were subsequently conquered by cutting them down. The ancient cycads survived the dinosaurs, and some plants easily develop camouflage to blend in with their surroundings. Glance at how plants have been regarded from prehistoric times to the present, how they have been abused and misused, and how they have been exploited.

Plant survival mechanisms pose mysteries for human botanists, this is another world that relies on a dissimilar sensory system, one that requires a Rosetta Stone for translation. Enhanced with dozens of colorful illustrations, engaging examples, thoughtful queries, and an historical background, the reader will be coaxed into this cabaret of plants.

Chris Hayden

Chris Hayden been working at City Book Review since 2012, so that makes him the keeper of knowledge. He manages the office and book reviewers (all 200 of them!), which is no small feat. If you’re looking at the book reviews here, you’re seeing them because he sent the books out for review. Without him, this place would fall apart, because no one else in the office knows how to use the postage machine. Two words: job security.


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Author Richard Mabey
Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 384 pages
Publisher W. W. Norton & Company
Publish Date 11-Jan-2016
ISBN 9780393239973
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue March 2016
Category Science & Nature
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