Jackie Morris & Robert Macfarlane The Lost Words Book
Collect from gallery £20
Including UK delivery £30
A book combining meticulous wordcraft with exquisite illustrations deftly restores language describing the natural world to the children’s lexicon.
In 2007, the new edition of the Oxford Junior Dictionary introduced new words such as “broadband” while others, describing the natural world, disappeared. The dictionary’s guidelines require that it reflect “the current frequency of words in daily language of children”. However, the philosopher AJ Ayer introduced a generation to the notion that unless we have a word for something, we are unable to conceive of it, and that there is a direct relationship between our imagination, our ability to have ideas about things, and our vocabulary. Perhaps unsurprisingly, a groundswell of opposition to the word cull began to grow and, in 2015, the debate reached a tipping point when an open letter to the OJD, coordinated by the naturalist Laurence Rose, was signed by artists and writers including Margaret Atwood, Sara Maitland, Michael Morpurgo and Andrew Motion along with the brilliant illustrator Jackie Morris and the hugely acclaimed wordsmith, word collector, and defender of the natural world, Robert Macfarlane. “There is a shocking, proven connection between the decline in natural play and the decline in children’s wellbeing,” the letter said. A heated debate in the national press ensued, both for and against the lost words, and the collaboration between Morris and Macfarlane was born.
A collaboration between Jackie Morris and Robert Macfarlane, author of Landmarks and The Wild Places.
Prints within this book will be in stock soon.
Jackie was born in Birmingham and lived there until at the age of four when her parents moved away to Evesham.
“Here I grew up and remember little of those times. I do know that from at least the age of six I wanted to be an artist. I watched my dad drawing a picture of a lapwing, making a bird appear on a piece of paper using only a pencil, and I thought it was some magic that made this happen. So there and then I decided to learn how to conjure birds from paper and colour.”