The Lost Words

‘Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris have made a thing of astonishing beauty’ Observer

“Once upon a time, words began to vanish from the language of children. They disappeared so quietly that at first almost no one noticed – fading away like water on stone. The words were those that children used to name the natural world around them: acorn, adder, bluebell, bramble, conker… gone! Fern, heather, kingfisher, otter, raven, willow, wren – all of them gone! The words were be-coming lost…”

The Lost Words is a spell book that seeks to conjure the near-lost magic, beauty and strangeness of the nature that surrounds us, for readers both young and old. Taking the form of twenty ‘lost’ words, collected alphabetically from ‘Acorn’ to ‘Wren’ each word becomes a spell – written by Robert Macfarlane, which is intended to be read aloud. The images – painted by Jackie Morris, capture first the absence of the plant or creature within its habitat and then its return. The spell summons the image and the word back into being, making this a book of enchantment in more than one sense.

It is this situation Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris seek to address with their unique book, bringing back an experience of nature as astonishing, strange, beautiful, eerie, and magical.

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