Original and engaging, this book is a new perspective in the life of trees and of human history. And the yew who tells her story is a remarkably sophisticated tree!
—Rupert Sheldrake, author of Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home, A New Science of Life, etc.
Guido Mina di Sospiro’s profound knowledge and depth of understanding of the ecology and habitat characteristics of the yew makes his portrayal of the life of the yew tree a labour of love. He has made our understanding of the life of the yew more enriching and rewarding. This book is indeed a memorable production.
—Sile de Valera, TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht & the Islands
Fraser’s The Golden Bough, first published a little over 100 years ago, sought the solace of religion in the trees of the Sacred Grove. THE STORY OF YEW, though expressed in human terms, reaches deeper and finds comfort in the oneness of life, a biochemistry which passes on the wisdom of nature.
—David Bellamy, President of The Conservation Foundation, ecologist, author, and TV personality
I thoroughly enjoyed reading THE STORY OF YEW; in fact, once I had got into it, it was hard to put down. It is wonderful how you have included so many different events around this tree, yet maintained botanical accuracy.
—Sir Ghillean Prance FRS, VMH, Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew from 1988 to 1999, Scientific Director of the Eden Project, McBryde Professor at the National Tropical Botanical Garden in Hawaii, legendary ethnobotanist, and author
This is truly a “novel” in the sense that it represents an entirely NEW approach to story-telling. Never before has history been recounted by a Tree; and no ordinary tree, but an aged an venerable yewess, the Matriarch of the forest and an Archetype of treeness in her own right. As a forester and a conservationist I believe this book is a landmark, it combines hard science with romantic fiction in a way that is always accurate and informative but NEVER dull. It puts a single yew tree center stage and by doing so, forces the reader to identify with her and with all trees.
—Dr. Jean-Paul Jeanrenaud, Founding President of OPEN (One Planet Education Networks); Co-founder and Managing Director of One Planet Wisdom; and Former Senior Advisor to WWF Switzerland, Director of Corporate Relations at WWF International, and Head of the Forest Programme at WWF International Secretariat.
The book is a wonder. An Italian Marchese writes a quintessentially Celtic book; a man reveals the inner world of a tree! I read it with admiration and gratitude.
—Joscelyn Godwin, author of Harmonies of Heaven and Earth, Arktos, etc.
The STORY OF YEW will sow seeds for a rising generation who will be more environmentally responsible than ours and inspire all who care about the countryside to fight for a better rural heritage for future generations. I wish your book all the success it deserves.
—The late Phil Drabble, naturalist, author, and TV personality
I have read THE STORY OF YEW thoroughly and critically and with much pleasure. Temperamentally unattracted to whimsy and elaborate writing, I nevertheless found this highly imaginative tale so firmly grounded in fact and unassailable scientifically, that, far from being put off, I found this work a pleasing read. (…) Since I had been consulted on the botany involved and on the physiology, health and growth of this extraordinary species, I was particularly attentive to the passages relevant to these subjects. They passed the test triumphantly. (…) As a blend of science and imaginative fiction, this is a remarkable book, far removed from “science-fiction” as normally understood. It deals with the real world in an inventive way without putting a foot wrong.
—The late Alan Mitchell VMH, botanist, forester and dendrologist, founder of the Tree Register of the British Isles (T.R.O.B.I.), author of books on trees. and an authority on British and Northern European flora with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the tallest and largest trees in the British Isles.
I have enjoyed reading THE STORY OF YEW. Although I read a lot about plants and natural history in general, I can safely say that I have never read anything quite like your novel before. It is the originality of your approach that impresses me most.
—Stephen Blackmore, CBE FRSE Royal Society of Biology FLS VMH, former Associate Director at The Natural History Museum, and Regius Keeper of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, now Chairman of Botanic Gardens Conservation International.
I found THE STORY OF YEW a pleasurable and refreshing experience. One of the surprising aspects of the work was the author’s ability to maintain interest from beginning to end. Only a supreme optimist would have attempted to write a novel with this title, but the end result is a work of great charm.
—The late Alan Brady, Director of the National Botanic Gardens at Glasnevin, Dublin, Ireland
We found THE STORY OF YEW an exceptionally well constructed, original, captivating story. Without doubt it will be of the greatest help in raising an awareness of the magic of trees in young and old alike.
—Robert Osborne, Director of The Tree Council
The STORY OF YEW has achieved a combination of history, botany and philosophy in a most unusual manner. The ITF wishes you every success.
—John Caunce, Chairman of the International Tree Foundation
THE STORY OF YEW was read with great interest and enjoyment. Being written from the Yew’s own viewpoint is excellent and gives the reader a very welcome and much needed reflection on mankind. I hope that many readers of this novel will begin to see that we humans are but a mere fraction of the Earth’s wondrous ecology.
—Martin Blunt, for Tree Spirit