In this book, Richard Hayman traces the different values and virtues people have seen in trees and forests over the course of history, reflecting the changing use of woodland and the effects of deforestation and urbanization. Tacitus, followed by Romantics and historians of liberty, located freedom in the German forests. Medieval forests were both protected hunting parks and the refuge of Robin Hood. Shakespeare contrasted the simplicity of life in the Forest of Arden with the artificial manners of the court. Since the 18th century, poets such as Wordsworth, Clare, and Hardy have drawn inspiration from trees. How we see trees today will dictate how trees are treated in the future.
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