November 16, 2021

RFS Book Club with James Canton

RFS Book Club features interviews with well-known forestry and woodland authors about their books. For this edition, we will be in conversation with James Canton, author of "The Oak Papers".

Pre-recorded event available from 16 November

This is a pre-recorded Zoom interview with James Canton, available to view on the RFS YouTube Channel HERE from 16 November onwards.

Listen to James in conversation about his book, The Oak Papers, which blends personal experience with cultural legacy. It is a meditative and healing book about the lessons we can learn from the natural world.

  • BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week
  • Reviewed in QJF July 2021: “During our hectic lives we should take James’ advice, slow down and spend time to observe the minutiae of the world around us.” Rik Pakenham.

James Canton started visiting the Honywood Oak during the breakdown of a long-term relationship. He kept diary entries of the experience as he began to observe and understand the oak’s delicate ecosystem.

He investigates our long-standing dependency on the mighty oak, and how this has developed and morphed into myth and legend.

He also talks to woodsmen and women, arboriculturalists, psychologists and artists to understand our age-old connection with and dependency on oaks.

A colossus of a tree, the Honywood Oak would have been a sapling when the Magna Carta was signed. James’s fascination with it leads him to absorb himself in three younger oaks, Field Oak and Two Oak Hill, with the same intensity

James Canton runs the Wild Writing MA at the University of Essex.  

He is also the author of Ancient Wonderings (2017) and Out of Essex: Re-Imagining a Literary Landscape (2013) which was inspired by his rural wandering in East Anglia.