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Nature Cure

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  190 ratings  ·  23 reviews
Richard Mabey's descent into clinical depression was so annihilating that he could neither work nor play, nor sustain relationships with family or friends. He was drinking too much — and, worst of all, had lost all pleasure in the outside world. This remarkable book charts his gradual return to joyfulness.

Richard Mabey had lived his whole life in the Chilterns. As a boy,
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Hardcover, 244 pages
Published March 22nd 2005 by Chatto and Windus (first published 2005)
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Juliet Wilson
I recently started leading a series of birdwatching walks for City of Edinburgh Council's Outlook Project, which works with adults with mental health problems. I felt that Richard Mabey's Nature Cure would be a great book to read alongside these walks, dealing as it does with the author's recovery from depression and his reaquaintance with the natural world.

When Mabey became depressed, he was already a well-known nature writer and the main argument in his book is that getting out into nature in
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Abailart
Not immediately, but slowly, the book settled in and helped me find a gentler rhythm. From tentative strolls in the park to the remote hills and wind which blew my blues away, this book helped me too find new delight in a world turned grey for too long.
Mark Newton
Surprised, as I thought I'd like this more, given I've liked Mabey's other works. This just seemed a tad too self-indulgent at times and went off on a few too many tangents.
Colleen
Can nature heal a damaged spirit? Mabey's story suggests that it can. But what a long, wordy journey it was.
Michael
Jan 25, 2008 Michael rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Michael by: Ruth
Richard Mabey is an extraordinary nature writer with an ability to interest the non specialist and the specialist alike. Haven been given this book by a friend to read, I thought it not too promising, the writers own depression of a deep and profound kind and the nature of the Norfolk Suffolk Borderlands, a pretty but unspectacular part of the world.

With the prejudice of a native Norfolk Dumpling I thought Mabey a "foreigner" from the faraway Chilterns was bound to get it all wrong. How wrong I
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Susan
May 18, 2013 Susan rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Susan by: Cornflower Books
Shelves: non-fiction
British nature writer, Richard Mabey, moved to a new home while recovering from an immobilizing depression. As he explores East Anglia and regains his emotional equilibrium, he shares the details of his new landscape and interprets and meditates on the natural world, science, Thoreau, the English poet John Clare, other writers, and his own experiences.

"To wish to contain and know that wild, proliferating edge is to wish to stop nature in its tracks, to put it into a cultural reserve. But it's an
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Colin Milligan
Richard Mabey is an important nature writer and he is on top form here. Written as he recovered form a period of depression it chronicles the changing seasons and natural rhythms of his adopted corner of Norfolk.
Much of the book concentrates on the landscape but Mabey is at his best when he writes about the animals, plants birds and insects of the broads. His writing on swifts and martens in particular is beautiful, demonstrating his almost sporitual link to his subject.

Mabey draws inspiration f
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Daphne Pleace
Anything by Richard Mabey is worth reading, from his early but never out of print Food for Free, but this book, about his personal and professional breakdown and subsequent recovery, via the natural world, is a deeply moving read. For more ideas, check out http://daphnegonewild.wordpress.com
Anne
Naturalist & writer recovers from breakdown, leaves his family home in Chilterns and starts again in the Fens. Connecting with the natural world around him, he rediscovers his joy and curiosity. Evocative descriptions eg about swifts returning for the summer.
Ruth
Wow, I left this book with Michael (look him up on my friends list) and have only just read his review. I am impressed - what more can I say!

Personally I love the way Mabey handles his depression in this book - we could learn a heck of a lot from him - he handles it with dignity and gives it the dignity it deserves.

As you know I am a fan of Thomas Moore and his book Dark Nights of the Soul which I reviewed on here says to do exactly the same thing as Mabey did with his depression. So many peopl
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Niki
Although on the surface a memoir of a recovery from depression, this book is so much more: an extended meditation on man's relationship with nature, a history of a certain part of East Anglia, an examination of how landscape and humans interact and a detailed observation of a passing year. It covers history, geography, philosophy, literature, natural history and autobiography. The difficulty would be guessing where to find it in the bookshop.

This sounds as if it could be too disparate to fit tog
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Gill
very well written but essy to get bogged down in detail
Cindy Kilpatrick
Honest, inspiring writing. Life and nature carefully observed and eloquently presented.

p. 37 "...our imaginative affinities with the natural world are a crucial ecological bond, as essential to us as our material needs for air and water and photosynthesizing plants"

p. 45 "A marsh harrier lifted up fro a reed-stand and drifted to a dead tree, an effortless, oriental slide, a shifting of air not body."

p. 152 "Plants are part of what makes a locality, differentiates it, makes an amorphous site into
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David Sinck
For me, the perfect book. Do I love the poetry of John Clare? Check. Have I suffered from depression? Check. Mabey's depression was alleviated using the nature that caused his illness. This book is so lyrical, poetic and honest that it proves that there is no one way out of depression. This is Mabey's way out though, and he describes is in such beautiful prose that the fact that is was not mine is not an impediment but a reason to read on. Beautiful prose and our greatest nature writer's best an ...more
Alan Fricker
Not read any Mabey before but have been reading other things that relate. I found is patchy and prone to rather too large tangents
Ruthiella
Bits and pieces were lovely, but as a whole I found it a meandering and unfocussed memoir. Is it about recovering from depression, ecological history, living green? It is all these and none of them. It doesn't help that I am mostly unfamiliar with the flora and fauna of which Mabey waxes.
Alex Klaushofer
I love this book, and have returned to it several times since reading it a few years ago, especially because the problem that starts it is counter-intuitive - that stability and rootedness in place can engender depression.
John
Beautifully written in parts and I enjoyed the use of literary quotations, especially John Clare. But this is rambling and self indulgent and just escaped my "abandoned" shelf.
Artemis Eclectica
Mabey meanders with this writing ... a kind of stream of consciousness conversation from a nature expert. He has a talent for writing and language few can match.
Martinxo
Really wanted to like this but became bored early on, flicked through and gave up. Not a bad book, it just didn't appeal. You may like it though.
Sarah
Aug 20, 2008 Sarah marked it as to-read
Shelves: memoir
Read about this book in the Trib today.
Angela
A wonderful hopeful book. I will certainly re-read this soon.
Sarah
Jul 16, 2011 Sarah marked it as to-read
Shelves: science-nature, own
read half years ago, got distracted and never finished
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Richard Mabey is one of England's greatest nature writers. He is author of some thirty books including Nature Cure which was shortlisted for the Whitbread, Ondaatje and Ackerley Awards.
A regular commentator on the radio and in the national press, he is also a Director of the arts and conservation charity Common Ground and Vice-President of the Open Spaces Society. He lives in Norfolk.
More about Richard Mabey...
The New Age Herbalist: How to Use Herbs for Healing, Nutrition, Body Care, and Relaxation Food for Free (Collins Gem) Weeds: How Vagabond Plants Gatecrashed Civilisation and Changed the Way We Think About Nature Turned Out Nice Again: Living With the Weather Flora Britannica

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“Their [cats] effortless passing between the wild and domestic worlds suggests the kind of grace we need as a species to move between nature and culture.” 10 likes
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