Everybody Needs Beauty


Everyone is talking about the connection between nature and mental health. Hospitals are being retrofitted with gardens and green spaces; on the Shetland Islands, it’s possible to walk into a doctor’s surgery with anxiety and depression, and walk out with a prescription for nature. But where has this come from? The ‘nature cure’, it turns out, has a long history, and in this book, British academic Samantha Walton sets out to uncover its cultural legacy. From the miraculous waters of Lourdes, to a turn-of-the century wilderness retreat in Maine, and from a forest bathing centre in Finland to a laboratory working on simulating the experience of nature indoors, she visits landscapes particularly associated with healing, to investigate the history and science of the pull of these natural spaces, and the writers who have engaged with them.

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SKU: 9781526621023 Category: Tags: , , Publisher/imprint : Bloomsbury
Page count : 336
Published on 23rd June, 2022


‘Beautifully written, intimate and intellectually fascinating’ Nathan Filer‘This book represents, genuinely, a moment of ground-breaking importance for how we think about nature, access and wellbeing in late capitalism’ Dr Alice Tarbuck ‘Impeccably researched . . . A call to us all to find a place within the simplicity and complexity of nature’ Lara Maiklem, bestselling author of MudlarkingEverybody is talking about the healing properties of nature. Hospitals are being retrofitted with gardens, and forests reimagined as wellbeing centres. On the Shetland Islands, it is possible to walk into a doctor’s surgery with anxiety or depression, and walk out with a prescription for nature.Where has this come from, and what does ‘going to nature’ mean? Where is it – at the end of a garden, beyond the tarmac fringes of a city, at the summit of a mountain? Drawing on history, science, literature and art, Samantha Walton shows that the nature cure has deep roots – but, as we face an unprecedented crisis of mental health, social injustice and environmental devastation, the search for it is more urgent now than ever.Everybody Needs Beauty engages seriously with the connection between nature and health, while scrutinising the harmful trends of a wellness industry that seeks to exploit our relationship with the natural world. In doing so, this book explores how the nature cure might lead us towards a more just and radical way of life: a real means of recovery, for people, society and nature.

Additional information

Weight 0.232 kg
Dimensions 19.8 × 12.9 × 2.5 cm