Women on Nature

The Seven Fables' Walking Book Club with Katharine Norbury

Spring Equinox 2022


It was a delight to welcome Katharine Norbury to Exmoor to celebrate the arrival of spring and her beautiful anthology, Women on Nature.


Produced by Unbound, Seven Fables initially pledged to support the project in 2018 and the book was published last May. Intuitively it felt like the perfect publication for us to support, not realising at the time that many of the writers included are those whose books we have read for our Walking Book Club, including Kathleen Jamie, Helen Macdonald, Elizabeth-Jane Burnett and Kitty Aldridge. Kitty’s novel, Cryer’s Hill has stayed with me since we read it in 2014 and whenever I walk at Dunster’s Horse Pond, her characters accompany me - even if one is submerged!


When Unbound asked Katharine if she would curate an anthology of women’s writing about the natural world, she couldn’t believe it hadn’t been done already. She admits she was skeptical about the gender focus, but also very aware how nature writing is classified - that we as a species are perceived as separate, removed from nature and observers of something 'other' and so the title is a play on words and a nod to Susan Griffin's controversial book Woman and Nature: The Roaring Inside Her published in 1978.


The term anthology derives from the latin to gather flowers, and Katharine has applied no literary snobbery to the writers she has gathered, and it is a joy to see the inclusion of Daisy by Cicely Mary Barker, creator of The Flower Fairies, a childhood introduction for many to the naming of trees and wildflowers.



Poet Jane Lovell was also able to join us having recently moved to Exmoor. Two of her poems are published in the collection and Katharine would gladly have included more had space permitted as she truly admires her writing, and it was a pleasure to hear Jane read in the spring sunshine.



Thank you to Katharine and Jane, it was an inspiring afternoon enjoyed by all those who ventured into the woods with us.


Signed copies of Women on Nature are available to purchase directly from the shelves at Seven Fables - simply e-mail info@sevenfables.co.uk to order a copy. Delivery within the UK is £4.00.


For those of you motivated by Women on Nature to read further we have put together a selection of titles featured in the anthology on our Bookshop.org profile. Do enjoy browsing the collection...