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Short Synopsis
The Cabaret of Plants is a masterful, globe-trotting exploration of the relationship between humans and the kingdom of plants by the renowned naturalist Richard Mabey.

Full Synopsis
A rich, sweeping, and compelling work of botanical history, The Cabaret of Plants explores dozens of plant species that for millennia have challenged our imaginations, awoken our wonder, and upturned our ideas about history, science, beauty, and belief. Going back to the beginnings of human history, Richard Mabey shows how flowers, trees, and plants have been central to human experience not just as sources of food and medicine but as objects of worship, actors in creation myths, and symbols of war and peace, life and death.

Mabey takes listeners from the Himalayas to Madagascar to the Amazon to our own backyards. He ranges through the work of writers, artists, and scientists and across nearly 40,000 years of human history: Ice Age images of plant life in ancient cave art and the earliest representations of the Garden of Eden; Newton's apple and gravity, Priestley's sprig of mint and photosynthesis, and Wordsworth's daffodils; the history of cultivated plants such as maize, ginseng, and cotton; and the ways the sturdy oak became the symbol of British nationhood and the giant sequoia came to epitomize the spirit of America.

"An unusual and vastly entertaining journey into the world of mysterious plant life as experienced by a gifted nature writer." ---Kirkus Starred Review

"This sensitive approach not only succeeds in giving these incredibly vital beings their just place in the story of life." ---Booklist Starred Review

"Mabey is delightfully eclectic in his approach, often touching on those species with which he has a personal connection, but he consistently advances his central theme while providing interesting insights and opinions." ---Publishers Weekly
Kirkus Review

Booklist Review

The Cabaret of Plants

Forty Thousand Years of Plant Life and the Human Imagination

Author Richard Mabey

Narrated by Ralph Lister

Publication date Apr 29, 2016

Running time 11 hrs 16 min

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