Since the pine tree is able to sprout after forest fires, on mountainsides, and in semi-desert climes, it is no surprise that the ever-resilient tree signifies longevity, wisdom, and immortality. From the pine cone staffs carried by the worshippers of Bacchus in the classical world to their role in the movement to establish national parks in nineteenth-century North America, pine trees and their symbolism run deep in cultures around the globe. In Pine, Laura Mason explores the many ways pines have inspired and been used by people throughout history.
Mason examines how the somber, brooding atmosphere of pine woods, the complex forms of pine cones, and the coniform shape of the trees themselves have aroused the creativity of artists, writers, filmmakers, and photographers. She also considers the many ways we use the tree—its resin once provided adhesives, waterproofing, and medicines, and its wood continues to be incorporated into buildings, furniture, and the pulp used to make paper, while its cones provide pine nuts and other food for animals and humans. Filled with one hundred illustrations, Pine provides a fascinating survey of these rugged, aromatic trees that are found the world over.
50 colour, 50 black and white
50 colour, 50 black and white
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
If you like pines, this is a book to read. It's one of a quite good series. The illustrations are excellent. The writing is crisp and informative. As always in this series, the interface between the natural world of the pine and of human cultures is the main focus.
The book starts with the natural history of pines. It's more complex than I was aware of. The next chapter concerns pines in myth and reality (not the same as the chapter on pines in art and literature). The third chapter looks at pines as a source of turpentine and resin, what might be called the industrial pine, particularly in the once vitally important category of naval stores. The next chapter covers pine as timber and torches (think pine knots used in colonial days), various species of pine being important construction materials. Then comes a chapter on pines as food, pine cones and pine nuts used in several cultures. Lastly is my favorite, pines in literature and art. There is one stunning example of pines...
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