Samantha Walton, Reader in Modern Literature at Bath Spa University, presented her book Everybody Needs Beauty: In Search of the Nature Cure (Bloomsbury, 2021) in the Greenhouse environmental humanities book talk series on Monday, November 22 at 16:00 in Norway.
Everybody 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.