I’ve just come back from Beadon after an early morning walk through the valley. Acres and acres of bluebells - it’s like something from pre-history and is my Yosemite – flowers so fresh and untouched – so pure. Butterflies hanging from flower corollas, wings closed or open, sipping nectar. Green-veined whites, female orange tips, and a speckled yellow which I haven’t seen before.
I’ve been walking the tracks through them – unable to walk over the blue lakes as I don’t want to trample them. Human boot prints leave dark, green smudges – I always look behind if ever I find a weasel or deer path through the flowers to see if my prints can be seen- always I can make out deep, green, sappy splashes-unsightly so I avoid it now – even in the wildest parts of the wood. I sometimes expect to see bears in the wood – it feels wild especially at dusk. I’ve just read that bears were hunted to extinction by the 10th century although wolves still lived in wild remote places in England then and weren’t killed out till centuries later. The last wolf was killed near Honiton so legend goes- we wrote a song about it once-not that far from Beadon.
Writings from the Woods and Fields of Dartington Hall Estate, South Devon 2006-2009.
illustrated book for adults and children.
Ros: ‘I started to write prose
and poetry- all outdoors on scraps of paper– and throwing them into a box when
I got in from my long walks and meditations. Undoubtedly that time was a
watershed for me-and it changed my life. Literary friends said ‘come on you
have to write a book’. I discovered the box in a cupboard and finished the book
I had begun years earlier.
The book was written during a difficult time in my life: I was losing my ability to see. All I wanted to do was be out in the wild woods and fields- I would find quiet places observing the wild life and flora. I rediscovered a relationship with nature I had as a child. I hope the book encapsulates a child-like joy in nature.’
We’ve spent the last two years travelling back to Dartington throughout the changing seasons so Simon could compose illustrations for the book. They are reminiscent of drawings by Earnest Shepherd in the famous books by A.A.Milne.
PAPERBACK AND HARDBACK EDITIONS
The book is available in paperback. Three hardback editions remain, bound by nationally acclaimed binder Mary Bartlett at Dartington Bookbinding Workshop. Both editions feature quotes from Bram Bartlett’s published journal, gamekeeper and warden on the estate for many years and Mary’s husband.
cards are available -of the book illustrations with poetry on the
Ros Brady moves slowly through the natural world and observes closely, feels deeply and thinks originally : what could be more important? She shares her relationship with this world through vivid writing with its unusual metaphors. The reader looks, learns and experiences life in a different way.
The strong line drawings by Simon Barron complement the clarity of the writing and illuminate this journey into a green and living land.
Kay Dunbar, Ways With Words Festival Director
This book is inspired by the landscape and biodiversity of Dartington Hall Estate, Devon.
The author takes you by the hand and leads you to a quiet place and an intimate encounter with a vibrant world.