This book will be a record of how things turn out during that first year. But it will also, inevitably, be an account of my own life in the aftermath of illness, and of what I felt and thought dipping my toe at last into something approaching adult independence. It’s become customary, on this side of the Atlantic, stiffly to exclude all such personal narratives from writings about the natural world, as if the experience of nature were something separate from real life, a diversion, a hobby; or perhaps only to be evaluated through the dispassionate and separating prism of science. It has never felt like that to me, and since my recovery, it’s seemed absurd that, with our new understanding of the kindredness of life, so-called ‘nature writing’ should divorce itself from other kinds of literature, and from the rest of human existence.

— Richard Mabey, Nature Cure

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