Gossip from the Forest

Gossip from the Forest: The Tangled Roots of Our Forests and Fairytales

Language & Reference, Nature Writing, Non-Fiction
Paperback Published on: 06/06/2013
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Bookseller Reviews

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Gossip from the Forest
Welcome back to the forests we loved as kids.
Really loved this. I always found forests great places to visit, very magical and the close relationship with fairy tales goes some way to explaining why. ... READ MORE
Su at Manchester Deansgate
Gossip from the Forest
Gossip from the Forest
A magical book about the symbiotic relationship between our fairytales and our forests. Includes some interesting retellings of some of the stories.
Rachel Mulvenna at Leadenhall Market
Gossip from the Forest
Loved it
A brilliant blend of fact and fiction. I’ve learnt a lot about the actual history of forests and all of the work that goes into them, while being thoroughl... READ MORE


Fairytales are one of our earliest and most vital cultural forms, and forests one of our most ancient landscapes. Both evoke a similar sensation in us - we find them beautiful and magical, but also spooky, sometimes horrifying.

In this fascinating book, Maitland argues that the two forms are intimately connected: the mysterious secrets and silences, gifts and perils of the forests were both the background and the source of the fairytales made famous by the Grimms and Hans Christian Andersen. Yet both forests and fairy stories are at risk and their loss deprives us of our cultural lifeblood. Maitland visits forests through the seasons, from the exquisite green of a beechwood in spring, to the muffled stillness of a snowy pine wood in winter. She camps with her son Adam, whose beautiful photographs are included in the book; she takes a barefoot walk through Epping Forest with Robert Macfarlane; she walks with a mushroom expert through an oak wood, and with a miner through the Forest of Dean. Maitland ends each chapter with a unique, imaginitive re-telling of a fairytale.

Written with Maitland's wonderful clarity and conversational grace, Gossip from the Forest is a magical and unique blend of nature writing, history and imaginative fiction.

  • Publisher: Granta Books
  • ISBN: 9781847084309
  • Number of pages: 368
  • Weight: 258g
  • Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 22 mm

Customer Reviews

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Gossip from the Forest
Forests and fairytales
In this book Maitland is looking at the role that woods and forests have played in our national identity, primarily through stories, by also as a source of... READ MORE
Half Man Half Book
Gossip from the Forest
2 stars
This book had so much potential but it just doesn't deliver. I enjoyed the retellings of traditional fairytales so I feel it deserves more than one star bu... READ MORE
Nicola Danby