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A History of Trees (Hardback)

Photo Books Colour Books Nature

By Dr Simon Wills
Imprint: White Owl
Pages: 216
ISBN: 9781526701596
Published: 30th November 2018


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Have you ever wondered how trees got their names? What did our ancestors think about trees, and how were they used in the past? This fascinating book will answer many of your questions, but also reveal interesting stories that are not widely known. For example, the nut from which tree was predicted to pay off the UK’s national debt? Or why is Europe’s most popular pear called the ‘conference’? Simon Wills tells the history of twenty-eight common trees in an engaging and entertaining way, and every chapter is illustrated with his photographs.

Find out why the London plane tree is so frequently planted in our cities, and how our forebears were in awe of the magical properties of hawthorn. Where is Britain’s largest conker tree? Which tree was believed to protect you against both lightning and witchcraft?

The use of bay tree leaves as a sign of victory by athletes in ancient Greece led to them being subsequently adopted by many others – from Roman emperors to the Royal Marines. But why were willow trees associated with Alexander Pope, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Samuel Johnson? Why did Queen Anne pay a large sum for a cutting from a walnut tree in Somerset? Discover the answers to these and many other intriguing tales within the pages of this highly engrossing book.

I like learning about trees and nature. This book was really interesting for me and I loved learning more about the history of different trees.

NetGalley, reviewed by Catherine C

I think this is a wonderful book for a booklover, I can see that as a hardcover it will be wonderful book to peruse and flick through, however, I don't think I got the full benefit of that in the digital version. Still, definitely a book that will make a brilliant gift for any tree lover, lover of facts.

NetGalley, reviewed by Melanie Martin

This book is interesting and full of information about trees and their history.. It's well written and engaging.


NetGalley, reviewed by Anna Maria Giacomasso

While I did have a few quibbles with the book, finding some entries were much shorter than others, as well as too much focus on certain geographical areas, overall, I quite liked this title. It also deserves a special shout out for the dedication alone, it did make me smile.

NetGalley, reviewed by Kat Munro
Dr Simon Wills

About Dr Simon Wills

Dr Simon Wills is a maritime genealogist, researcher and author, who writes for many genealogy and history magazines including Who Do You Think You Are?, Family Tree, Discover Your History, and Your Family Tree. He has over 25 years' experience researching maritime history and also works part-time as an information adviser to the NHS and other healthcare organisations.

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