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Pine (Botanical)

Pine (Botanical)

Current price: $22.50
Publication Date: July 29th, 2024
Reaktion Books


Now in paperback, an enduring survey of the venerable trees.

Since the pine tree is able to sprout after forest fires, on mountainsides, and in semi-desert climes, it is no surprise that the ever-resilient tree signifies longevity, wisdom, and immortality. From the pine cone staffs carried by the worshippers of Bacchus in the classical world to their role in the movement to establish national parks in nineteenth-century North America, pine trees and their symbolism run deep in cultures around the globe. In Pine, Laura Mason explores the many ways pines have inspired and been used by people throughout history.   Mason examines how the somber, brooding atmosphere of pine woods, the complex forms of pine cones, and the coniform shape of the trees themselves have aroused the creativity of artists, writers, filmmakers, and photographers. She also considers the many ways we use the tree—its resin once provided adhesives, waterproofing, and medicines, and its wood continues to be incorporated into buildings, furniture, and the pulp used to make paper, while its cones provide pine nuts and other food for animals and humans. Filled with one hundred illustrations, Pine provides a fascinating survey of these rugged, aromatic trees that are found the world over.

About the Author

Laura Mason is a writer who has published widely on food history and culture. She lives in Yorkshire, UK.

Praise for Pine (Botanical)

“Lily and Pine are beautifully produced, with an old-fashioned and wonderfully solid feel to them; they are well illustrated with material from a very wide range of sources, and bound at a higher quality than the general run of hardback books, especially given the modest price. I can see them becoming collectors’ items.”
— Gardens Illustrated

"All the volumes [in the Botanical series] combine scholarship with lively anecdote and are beautifully and generously illustrated . . . who would have thought conifers could be so interesting? Laura Mason’s Pine starts with a solid and enlightening description of the botanical structure, evolution and habitat of the Pinus genus. It then goes on to show how the pine and its derivatives from timber to Stockholm Tar have been used throughout history, how the tree has been depicted in art, its place in mythology, and its culinary uses (not limited to pinenuts) . . . Part of the appeal of these books is the unexpected facts and stories they throw up."
— Spectator

"Reaktion Books are building a tasty line in tree and plant books . . . beautifully produced with the qualities of a traditional novel, but illustrated page after page by color photographs and drawings, the [Botanical] series aims to provide a cultural guide to species . . . Pine offers a valuable tour of the Pinus genus."

— Smallwoods