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“Fascinating biographies of extraordinary trees. Wonder at the diversity of the natural world shines through on every page“
— Richard Deverell, Director, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
"Beautiful illustrations by the French artist Lucille Clerc, strewn generously throughout, have the limpid calm of vernal pools. The book's author, Jonathan Drori, whose sunny prose sparkles with authority, grew up near the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, where he later served as a trustee. His childhood passion for plants branched into a study of the ways humans and trees interact. Drori and Clerc's book abounds with discoveries."
— The New York Times Book Review
In Around the World in 80 Trees, bestselling author and environmentalist Jonathan Drori tells the stories of 80 magnificent trees from all over the globe using plant science to illuminate how trees play a role in every part of human life, from the romantic to the regrettable.
From the trees of Britain, to India's sacred banyan tree, they offer us sanctuary and inspiration – not to mention the raw materials for everything from aspirin to maple syrup.
Stops on the trip include the lime trees of Berlin's Unter den Linden boulevard, which intoxicate amorous Germans and hungry bees alike, the swankiest streets in 19th–century London, which were paved with Australian eucalyptus wood, and the redwood forests of California, where the secret to the trees' soaring heights can be found in the properties of the tiniest drops of water.
Each of these strange and true tales – populated by self–mummifying monks, tree–climbing goats and ever–so–slightly radioactive nuts – is illustrated by Lucille Clerc, taking the reader on a journey that is as informative as it is beautiful. The book combines history, science and a wealth of quirky detail – there should be surprises for everyone.
Around the World in 80 Trees features hundreds of vibrant illustrations by Lucille Clerc of each tree and its uses throughout time are scattered throughout the book, helping you to recognize these trees during walks with family and friends.
The perfect travel guide for nature enthusiasts, Around the World in 80 Trees will certainly whet the appetite of any tree lover to take an around–the–world trip, or simply visit your local botanic garden.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jonathan Drori was a BBC Executive Producer and Director, responsible for more than fifty popular BBC science and technology documentaries and series. He still makes short films for plant and seed-collecting expeditions and is also known for several TED talks on pollen, seeds, and the dirty little tricks that flowers play. (They have been viewed more than 3 million times on www.ted.com).
Jon is Trustee of The Eden Project, a member of the Council of Ambassadors of the WWF and a former trustee of The Woodland Trust and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
He is Chairman of Ravensbourne University London, a Fellow of the Linnean Society and the Zoological Society of London, a full voting member of BAFTA and a Visiting Professor at Bristol University, specialising in science misconceptions. Jon was made CBE by H. M. The Queen in December 2006.
Lucille Clerc is a French Graphic designer and Illustrator based in London. She set up her studio after graduating from Central Saint Martins with an MA in Communication Design. She works within the field of editorial design and illustration for books and magazines, mainly, but also for the fashion industry and occasionally creating interior or exhibition spaces.
A lot of her personal work is inspired by London’s architecture and the relationship between Nature and urbanisation. In the past five years she has studied green spaces, both in the cities of London and Paris.
Her work is mainly handcrafted from drawing to screenprinting which allows her to create large scale compositions, architectural portraits of her favourite places and exploring their past and present lives.