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Book Title: Remarkable Trees Of The World|
The author of the book: Thomas Pakenham
Edition: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Date of issue: June 12th 2003
ISBN 13: 9780297843498
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 38.73 MB
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Reader ratings: 6.5
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A landmark volume celebrating the most remarkable trees on our planet.
The spirit of nineteenth-century naturalistic exploration lives in British historian Thomas Pakenham, who has spent the last decade chronicling the lives of the world's most dramatic trees, many of which are in danger of destruction. After the world-wide success of his previous work, Meetings With Remarkable Trees—a stunning collection of 60 individual trees (and groups of trees) in Britain and Ireland chosen for their unusually strong personalities—Pakenham decided to hunt down and photograph another 60 remarkable trees scattered throughout the globe.
Many of these trees were already famous-champions by girth, height, volume or age-while others had never previously been caught by the camera. Pakenham's five-year odyssey, sweating it out with a 30 pound Linhof camera and tripod, took him to most of the temperate and many of the tropical regions of the world. Although North American trees dominate this book, Pakenham also trekked to remote regions in Mexico, all over Europe, parts of Asia including Japan, northern and southern Africa, Madagascar, Australia and New Zealand.
Despite his expert knowledge, the book owes little to conventional botany. Like its predecessor, Remarkable Trees of the World is arranged according to the characters of the trees themselves. There are Giants and Dwarfs, Methuselahs, Shrines, Dreams, Lovers and Dancers, Ghosts and Trees in Peril. The chief Giant is General Sherman in the Sierra Nevada, California. At over 1400 tons, the grizzled old general, a giant-sequoia, is the world's largest tree, measured by volume - indeed the largest single living thing in the world. The height record, however, goes to another commanding Californian, a 368-foot high Coast redwood recently declared the tallest tree in the world. Among the Methuselahs, Pakenham describes the wind-blasted bristlecone pines of the White Mountains of California. One of them, Old Methuselah himself, was found to be 4,600 years old, making him the oldest tree yet measured by scientists. Shrines include some of the holiest trees in the world, like the immense camphor trees preserved in Shinto shrines in Japan and the 2,200 year old Bo-tree in Sri Lanka, a cutting from the actual tree under which Buddha found enlightenment. Trees in Peril are the trees under attack by predatory loggers and impoverished farmers, including the exotic baobabs of Madagascar, now threatened by intensive farming, and the Great Spruce and Douglas Fir and Redcedars of Pacific North America in whose defense the conservationists have been fighting the loggers for decades.
Remarkable Trees of the World is a magnificent work that celebrates the investigative genius of Thomas Pakenham. It will be treasured for generations by all those who marvel at the wonders of nature.
Author Biography: Thomas Pakenham's Meetings with Remarkable Trees received international acclaims. His other books include The Boer War and The Scramble for Africa, winner of the Alan Paton Award. He lives in London.
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Read information about the authorThomas Francis Dermot Pakenham, 8th Earl of Longford, is known simply as Thomas Pakenham. He is an Anglo-Irish historian and arborist who has written several prize-winning books on the diverse subjects of Victorian and post-Victorian British history and trees. He is the son of Frank Pakenham, 7th Earl of Longford, a Labour minister and human rights campaigner, and Elizabeth Longford. The well known English historian Antonia Fraser is his sister.
After graduating from Belvedere College and Magdalen College, Oxford, in 1955, Thomas Pakenham traveled to Ethiopia, a trip which is described in his first book The Mountains of Rasselas. On returning to Britain, he worked on the editorial staff of the Times Educational Supplement and later for ,i>The Sunday Telegraph and The Observer. He divides his time between London and County Westmeath, Ireland, where he is the chairman of the Irish Tree Society and honorary custodian of Tullynally Castle.
Thomas Pakenham does not use his title and did not use his courtesy title before succeeding his father. However, he has not disclaimed his British titles under the Peerage Act 1963, and the Irish peerages cannot be disclaimed as they are not covered by the Act. He is unable to sit in the House of Lords as a hereditary peer as his father had, due to the House of Lords Act 1999 (though his father was created a life peer in addition to his hereditary title in order to be able to retain his seat).
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