The Wood for the Trees is a ramble through the woods that Fortey owns and maintains (a small patch of woodland that once belonged to a large estate). With the curiosity of a lifetime’s work in science, he examines every little bit of the wood in all seasons of the year, lifting up rocks, turning over fallen branches, and digging around in the history of the woods.
I got it because he made geology really interesting in another book I read, though I find this book didn’t have quite the same touch — perhaps because it’s so wide-ranging, so unfocused. Instead of just looking at the geology or the biology, he digs into the archaeology as well, into literature and historical figures that touched upon the wood, into the way the wood used to be worked with.
His little cabinet of curiosity is interesting, and his enthusiasm for the wood admirable — but unlike his other books, this didn’t keep me picking the book up to pursue more of it.