Author of twenty-five works of fiction and nonfiction, founder of the Connecticut Audubon Society, for twelve years associate editor of Bird-Lore (now Audubon) magazine, an accomplished landscape photographer, and the organizing force behind one of the first privately owned bird sanctuaries in the United States, Mabel Osgood Wright is not only a neglected writer and illustrator, she is also a lost hero of the American conservation movement, one whose work became a model for local wildlife and habitat preservation efforts throughout the country.
Published in 1894, the same year as John Muir's The Mountains of California, Wright's The Friendship of Nature helped to launch the "back-to-nature" movement that swept America at the turn of the century. Grounded in ornithology and botany, informed by classical mythology and the experience of women, and based on the premise that human beings are intimately connected to the landscapes in which they live and work, this classic of American nature writing challenged readers to appreciate the land on a local, personal, and familiar level -- to rediscover the beauty and complexity of their own backyards. Now back in print, with a new introduction by Daniel J. Philippon, The Friendship of Nature remains an effective argument for the need to preserve wild things and the environment they inhabit.
"More than one hundred years after its initial publication, The Friendship of Nature deserves renewed attention as a precursor of the current 'back-to-nature' movement, whose curbside recycling programs, organic farmers' markets, and annual Earth Day celebrations fulfill Wright's definition of 'a stepping forward.' If Americans at the dawn of the twentieth century turned to nature as a refuge from urbanization and industrialization, today more and more people are recognizing that the idea of an independent 'nature' -- one unrelated to human activity -- can no longer be supported, that 'nature' is in fact an integral part of everyday life." -- from the Introduction
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Mabel Osgood Wright was a founder of the Audubon Society of Connecticut and the originator of the Birdcraft Sanctuary in Fairfield, Connecticut, which became a model for local wildlife and habitat preservation across the country. Daniel J. Philippon is assistant professor of rhetoric at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.Review:
"The Friendship of Nature is a small classic of American nature writing, and Phillipon's excellent introduction and notes, both of which grow out of extensive primary research, contextualize and illuminate it for general readers, scholars, and students." -- Daniel Patterson, ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment
"Wright's book provides an important introduction to the early career of a forgotten champion of American's flora and fauna." -- Robin Schulze, Environmental History
"Every so often a book comes along which revives a figure of the past. That is the case with Friendship of Nature... [Osgood's] keen observations and insights, expressed in meticulous prose and poetic descriptions typical of the period (1894), are a delight to read... The Friendship of Nature would make an excellent gift for naturalists, birders, and gardeners who love books." -- R. Sander-Regier, The Canadian Field-Naturalist
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Book Description Johns Hopkins Univ Press, Baltimore, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ Press, 1999. Photos, notes, index, 172 pages. Published at $18.95. Paperback. New. Bookseller Inventory # 008224
Book Description Johns Hopkins University Press. Paperback. Book Condition: New. B & W Photos By The Author (illustrator). Copyright Date: 1894 Octavo, 1999, PP.172, A New England Chronicle Of Birds And Flowers. Bookseller Inventory # 48004B70c
Book Description The Johns Hopkins University P, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P11080186223X