The Living Mountain: A Celebration of the Cairngorm Mountains of Scotland

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Canongate Books, Nov 15, 2008 - Nature - 108 pages
AS SEEN ON BBC’S WINTERWATCH WITH CHRIS PACKHAM AND MICHAELA STRACHAN 'The finest book ever written on nature and landscape in Britain' Guardian In this masterpiece of nature writing, Nan Shepherd describes her journeys into the Cairngorm mountains of Scotland. There she encounters a world that can be breathtakingly beautiful at times and shockingly harsh at others. Her intense, poetic prose explores and records the rocks, rivers, creatures and hidden aspects of this remarkable landscape. Shepherd spent a lifetime in search of the 'essential nature' of the Cairngorms; her quest led her to write this classic meditation on the magnificence of mountains, and on our imaginative relationship with the wild world around us. Composed during the Second World War, the manuscript of The Living Mountain lay untouched for more than thirty years before it was finally published.

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User Review  - breic -

"But at first I was seeking only sensuous gratification… I was not interested in the mountain for itself, but for its effect on me, as puss caresses not the man but herself against the man's trouser ... Read full review

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User Review  - jon1lambert -

Just coming to the end of The living mountain, written during the Second World War but not published until 1997 by Aberdeen University Press and reissued more recently as part of the gush of nature ... Read full review


Introduction by Robert Macfarlane
The Plateau
The Recesses
The Group
Frost and Snow
Air and Light
The Plants
Birds Animals Insects
The Senses
Afterword by Jeanette Winterson

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About the author (2008)

Anna (Nan) Shepherd was born in 1893 and died in 1981. Closely attached to Aberdeen and her native Deeside, she graduated from her home university in 1915 and for the next forty-one years worked as a lecturer in English. An enthusiastic gardener and hill-walker, she made many visits to the Cairngorms with students and friends. She also travelled further afield - to Norway, France, Italy, Greece and South Africa – but always returned to the house where she was raised and where she lived almost all of her adult life, in the village of West Cults, three miles from Aberdeen on North Deeside. -- Nan Shepherd

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