“We are now in the mountains and they are in us, kindling enthusiasm, making every nerve quiver, filling every pore and cell of us.”
A celebration of Sierra from one of the founding fathers of modern conservation. Introduced by Robert Macfarlane
In the summer of 1869, John Muir set out from California’s Central Valley with a flock of sheep and trekked into the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. His journals describe the summer he spent in what would become Yosemite National Park.
Celebrating the Sierra’s lizards and mountain lions, tall trees and waterfalls, fierce thunderstorms and bears, Muir raises an awareness of nature to a spiritual dimension.
John Muir is internationally acknowledged as one of the founding fathers of modern conservation and his vision, passion and integrity continue to inspire readers today - particularly in this, his best-loved book.
“Muir’s prose is a miracle of immediacy. His books are illuminated by sunshine and starlight. The cold mineral air of the mountains and the resiny reek of coniferous forests lift bracingly off his pages. No other writer is so ceaselessly astonished by the natural world as Muir, or communicates that astonishment more urgently. Muir lived “in an infinite storm of beauty”, and his readers live in it with him”
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“An inspirational figure for modern environmentalism … his enthusiasm and heart-felt love of nature is immensely impressive. Thankfully the wilderness blooms again in Muir’s evocative prose”
“Brilliant description is the currency of My First Summer in the Sierra … Religious awe and powerful terrestrial awareness mark [Muir’s] prose in what is essentially a song to nature’s marvels and to our humanness of being”
“The richness of Muir’s writing roots deeper into the terrain than any other wilderness writer known to me”
los Angeles Times
“Muir was a geologist, an explorer, philosopher, artist, author, and editor, and to each of his avocations he devoted that deep insight and conscientious devotion which made him its master”
new York Times
John Muir (1838-1914) was born and raised in Dunbar, East Lothian. When his family emigrated to Wisconsin in 1849, young John was bought up to hard labour on his father’s homestead. A natural inventor, he first discovered the joys of walking, and writing, after an industrial accident nearly blinded him. His journals, articles and lectures helped to develop international awareness of the need to preserve and protect the environment, and led to the foundation of the General Grant, Sequoia and Yosemite national parks in the US, as well as important conservation areas in his native East Lothian. John Muir has been honoured ever since as the father of the modern environment movement.