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North Carolina Nature Writing: Four Centuries of Personal Narratives and Descriptions

Richard Rankin, editor

John F. Blair, Publisher
$12.95 paperback
5 x 8   
272 pages
black-and-white sketches throughout
Published in 1996

The rich and varied landscape of North Carolina has inspired writers from the earliest colonial days up to the present. The natural resources of the state astounded early naturalists such as John Lawson and William Bartram, whose writings described a world teeming with an almost miraculous assortment of wildlife, plants, and trees. Over the years, the landscape of North Carolina has changed, but the beauty of the state's natural habitats continues to inspire some of the finest nature writers in the United States.

North Carolina Nature Writing collects twenty-six of the most famous, important, and beautiful essays ever written about the natural world of North Carolina. The essays begin with the writings of the early naturalists, whose succinct and descriptive reports cannot hide the sense of wonder they felt at first viewing the state's natural bounty, and continue in chronological order up to the work of contemporary writers, who maintain the sense of awe found in those early essays, yet temper it with concerns about the abuse and destruction of North Carolina's natural habitats. The essays in North Carolina Nature Writing provide a fascinating look at the changing landscape of North Carolina's natural world, and cannot fail to entertain those that have enjoyed that world for themselves.