National Tree Week is the UK’s largest annual tree celebration, marking the start of the winter tree planting season (November to March each year). This year, the event falls between 27th November – 5th December 2021. To celebrate this, we’ve put together a brief reading list of titles which explore both the importance of trees and their presence within the natural environment, as well as texts that focus on environmental concerns and aesthetics more widely.
Invaluable Trees by Laura Auricchio, Elizabeth Cook and Giulia Pacini
Trees and tree products have long been central to human life and culture, taking on intensified significance during the eighteenth century. In an age of ongoing deforestation, both individuals and public entities grappled with the complex issues of how and why trees mattered. Invaluable Trees builds on recent research in socio-environmental history and postcolonial studies to develop new readings of the ways in which trees were valued in the eighteenth century.
The Built Environment by Emily Hasler
Emily Hasler’s debut collection moves between the local and the distant, the urban and the rural, and past and present. Often taking their cue from the work of visual artists, these poems probe at the ways we understand and reconstruct our environment. Examining places, objects, buildings, landscapes, rivers and bridges, these poems ask how our world is made, and how it makes us.
Eco Modernism by Jeremy Diaper
Eco-Modernism provides the first major guide to ecology, environment and nature in literary modernism. It explores the environmental turn and green consciousness in modernist criticism, drawing together contributions from leading and emerging scholars. Eco-Modernism offers a range of environmental and ecological interpretations of modernist texts and illustrates that ecocriticism can offer fresh and provocative ways of understanding literary modernism.
Mapping the Amazon by Amanda M. Smith
Mapping the Amazon examines the political and ecological consequences of charting the Amazon River basin in narrative ﬁction, mapping the region for readers. The authors construct landscapes marked by that ﬁrst large-scale exploitation of Amazonian biodiversity. The material practices of rubber extraction resurface in the stories told about the removal of other plants, seeds, and minerals from the forest as well as its conversion into farmland.
Charlotte Smith and the Sonnet by Bethan Roberts
This Open Access book offers the first full-length study of Charlotte Smith’s Elegiac Sonnets and clarifies its ‘place’ in literary history as a work celebrated for ‘making it new’, yet deeply engaged with the literary past. It argues that Smith’s sonnets are constituted by three intertwined concerns: with tradition, place and the sonnet form itself, whereby the subjects of Smith’s sonnets – across birds, rivers, the sea, plants and flowers – are deeply bound up with the literary context in which she wrote.
Hidden Landscapes of the Forest of Dean by Jon Hoyle
The Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire is known chiefly for its post-medieval industrial heritage. This book seeks to tell the story of its pre- and early history through written sources and archaeology. This also incorporates the historical and archaeological research undertaken in the late 20th and early 21st century, latterly using aerial imaging with lidar technology which revealed for the first time many archaeological sites and landscapes previously obscured by woodland.
Key events happening throughout the UK to celebrate National Tree Week:
Preston Tree Project: 22nd November – 5th December
Forest for Cornwall – Landmark Trees planting: 27th November – 5th December
Tree Planting At FarmED – A Living Agroforestry Textbook: 27th November – 5th December
For further details of ongoing events, projects and how to get involved, check out The Tree Council Website.