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Original Essays | September 30, 2014

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1 Burnside Botany- Trees and Shrubs

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Yew (Reaktion Books - Botanical)

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Yew (Reaktion Books - Botanical) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

 The yew is the oldest and most common tree in the world, but it is a plant of puzzling contradictions: it is a conifer with juicy scarlet berries, but no cones; deer can feast on its poisonous foliage, but it is lethal to farm animals; and it thrives where other plants cannot because of its extraordinarily low rate of photosynthesis. Exploring this paradoxical plant in Yew, Fred Hageneder surveys its position in religious and cultural history, its role in the creation of the British Empire, and its place in modern medicine.
 
Hageneder explains the way the yew is able to renew itself from the inside by producing interior roots and how early humans, fascinated with its regenerative powers, began to associate the tree with concepts of life and death, the afterlife, and eternity. As such, it can be found at the sacred sites of Native Americans, Buddhists, and Shinto shrines in Japan, and it has become a living symbol of the resurrection for the Christian faith. He describes how churchyards saved many yews during the Middle Ages, when the trees were used for the mass production of the longbow, which laid the foundation for the British Empire. Finally, he discusses the latest scientific discoveries about the yew, including its use in cancer treatments. A comprehensive and richly illustrated history, Yew will appeal to botanists and other readers interested in the history and symbolism of the natural world.

About the Author

 Fred Hageneder is the author of many books on the natural and cultural history of trees, including Yew—A History. He lives in the Cotswolds, UK.

Table of Contents

Introduction

1.            Early Yew

2.            Botanical Yew

3.            Social Yew

4.            Ancient Yew

5.            Hospitable Yew

6.            Poisonous Yew

7.            Political Yew

8.            Aesthetic Yew

9.            Metaphysical Yew

10.          Sacred Yew

11.          Threatened Yew

Timeline

References

Further Reading

Association and Websites

Acknowledgements

Photo Acknowledgements

Index

 

Product Details

ISBN:
9781780231891
Author:
Hageneder, Fred
Publisher:
Reaktion Books
Subject:
General Nature
Subject:
Botany-General
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Series:
Reaktion Books - Botanical
Publication Date:
20131231
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
70 color plates, 30 halftones
Pages:
208
Dimensions:
8.5 x 5.5 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » World History » General
Science and Mathematics » Botany » General
Science and Mathematics » Botany » Trees and Shrubs
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » Botany
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » Trees

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