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Book Rewiew: Margaret Mee´s Amazon. Diaries of an artist explorer.


Parolin,  Pia
Working Group Tropical Ecology, Max Planck Institute for Limnology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Parolin, P. (2005). Book Rewiew: Margaret Mee´s Amazon. Diaries of an artist explorer. Annals of Botany, 95(6), 1067-1068.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0009-CEC7-F
‘ Delight’ said Charles Darwin in his diaries in 1832, ‘is a weak term to express the feelings of a naturalist who, for the first time, has wandered by himself in a Brazilian forest’. These feelings must have been those which drove Margaret Mee to explore the Brazilian jungles on numerous expeditions between 1958 and 1964, creating wonderful pictures despite all kinds of difficulties encountered in this hostile world. And these feelings were also those I had when I read this book: delight about her precise drawings and life-like paintings, which are extremely expressive from an artistic and also from a scientific point of view. Delight about her writing, which is lyrical and eloquent, fascinatingly unassuming and modest, exciting in what she tells and how she tells it. Reading this book brings up a pleasant mixture of reminiscences and wanderlust: I recognize many things I have seen myself on my expeditions to the Amazon, I recall experiences which I could never write down in such a lively way. The collection of photographs, paintings and texts presented in this book triggered in me the thought, ‘what a pity that I did not meet this wonderful, fascinating person. And when is the next plane to Amazonia leaving anyway?’.