Inspiring Nature Writings and Poetry on the Natural World
From inspiring nature essays to books exploring the British countryside, this list of classic nature books will be sure to provide the perfect gifts for keen naturalists, countryside ramblers, and lovers of the outdoors.
Featuring work by famous American naturalists Henry David Thoreau and John Burroughs, this comprehensive list of classic nature books is sure to inspire.
Inspiring Classic Nature Books
From the specialist nature imprint A Thousand Fields, One Green Field is a collection of curated essays on nature by various notable writers, including John Burroughs, Robert Louis Stevenson, Ralph Waldo Emerson, John Muir and more. This fantastic collection of thought-provoking essays is not to be missed by nature lovers and fans of nature writing.
These beautiful books contain a collection of essays, field notes, and diary excerpts from numerous naturalists relating to British country life across the seasons.
From the rejuvenating period of Spring and Summer through the turn of the seasons into Autumn and Winter, these fascinating and highly-readable articles cover subjects of flora and fauna, insects and animals, along with monthly ‘open-air diary’ accounts for each month. Each classic nature book will appeal to nature lovers, especially those interested in the British countryside and the seasons.
First published in 1830, Rural Rides is a classic nature book by William Cobbet and celebrates everything the English countryside has to offer. It features a collection of sketches and diary entries written by William Cobbett concerning various rural journeys around England. Rural Rides provides the reader with an authentic glimpse of the beautiful British outdoors. It makes for a perfect gift for lovers of the English countryside and outdoors in general.
Writers On… Nature is a fantastic anthology of quotes, poems and literary reflections by authors on the topic of nature. Illustrating the complex – at times spiritual, animal, intellectual and emotional – relationships between writers and the environment, this book allows for an appreciation of the literary world’s most extraordinary reflections on the place we all call home – Nature.
Octavia Hill’s 1877 essay Open Spaces argues for the protection of green spaces and against destroying existing green, open spaces in London, including Hampstead Heath and Parliament Hill Fields—spots that remain open spaces to this day, thanks to her efforts.
Octavia Hill (1838–1912) was an English social reformer and a co-founder of the National Trust. Her passions were concentrated on the welfare of city dwellers and one of her central beliefs was that urban workers should have ample open spaces to enjoy and relax in. She campaigned vehemently against destroying urban woodlands.
This classic nature essay is perfect for those interested in nature activism, green spaces, and nature conservation – the ideal gift for any 21st-century nature lover.
Henry David Thoreau’s landmark work Walden is considered one of the best accounts of naturalist writing in the past two decades. This classic nature book concerns Thoreau’s experiences over two years, two months, and two days spent in a cabin near Conrad, Massachusetts. A reflection on simple living in nature is partly an exploration of personal freedom, partly a social experiment, and partly a voyage of self-discovery.
From the Read & Co. Great Essays imprint, this beautiful pocket edition houses a lecture by Sir Robert Hunter at the University of Manchester in 1907. In the essay, Hunter argues for the future conservation of places of interest or beauty, regardless of their marketable value, and gives power to the appropriate agencies to prevent the destruction or spoliation of such places.
Sir Robert Hunter was a civil servant and solicitor who co-founded the National Trust alongside Octavia Hill and Hardwicke Rawnsley. Together, they campaigned to conserve public open spaces, preserving some of the green spaces still enjoyed today.
An example of American nature writing at its finest, A Year in the Fields by John Burroughs, describes his observations throughout spring, summer, autumn and winter. Exploring the four seasons’ effect on the country and its inhabitants, this classic book is charming and interesting and is highly recommended for all lovers of nature writing.
Classic Books about Birds
This charming pocket-sized book is a classic guide to birdwatching by Anne Pratt. Our Native Songsters is a wonderfully-illustrated volume that contains information, instructions and tips that will be of use to the keen bird watcher, including where and when to find particular birds, notes on their natural history, and much more – perfect for those new to bird watching and experienced twitchers alike.
From the specialist nature imprint A Thousand Fields, T. A. Coward’s The Life of Birds explores their natural history, life cycle, habits, enemies, conservation, and much more. Written in clear language and profusely illustrated, this comprehensive volume is ideal for anyone interested in learning more about our feathered friends, and it is not to be missed by birdwatchers and ornithologists.
Considered one of the classic nature books of all time, John Burroughs’ first book, Wake-Robin, is a detailed work on birds and an alluring “invitation to study Ornithology”. It aims to stimulate an interest in the natural history of birds, which Burroughs arguably achieves through a masterful marriage of interesting facts and beautiful writing. A beautiful and thoughtful gift for fans of nature writing in general, along with those interested in birds.
How to Enjoy Birds is a beautiful vintage guide to bird watching, focusing on finding certain birds in England. Interwoven with interesting information, beautiful descriptions and even poetry, this classic book is a must-have for lovers of birdwatching and the English countryside.
Star Gazing and The Night Skies
From Vintage Astronomy Classics, this volume contains a collection of vintage articles written by Flammarion on astronomy. Distances of the Stars looks at the planets in our solar system, along with constellations and the history of planet earth – a perfect addition to any budding astronomer’s bookshelf.
Nicolas Camille Flammarion was a French author and astronomer. A prolific writer, he produced over fifty books, including science fiction novels, astronomy works, and physical research. Discover more of his work here.
From the Read & Co. Great Essays collection, this beautiful book houses an 1863 essay by American essayist Henry David Thoreau that explores the moon and its place in literary tradition. A fascinating article that looks at work by the likes of poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge and English statesman Sir Walter Raleigh and their dedication to the moon. A classic nature essay by a seminal writer not to be missed by lovers of literature and nature alike.
Another Vintage Astronomy Classic, this excellent, illustrated book is full of exciting and entreating information related to the constellations. Star Lore of All Ages is written in simple, plain language and profusely illustrated; this vintage book will appeal to young or amateur astronomers and would make for a charming addition to any collection.
Classic Nature Poetry
This beautiful pocket-sized poetry book, Songs of Nature, is a lovely collection of poetry by Indian poet Sarojini Naidu dedicated to the wonders of nature. With the poems focusing on nature in India, Naidu’s whimsical verse celebrates the colour magic found in Indian nature, drawing on magical and mythical elements to further emphasise the wonders of the natural world.
The One in Red Cravat
A Collection of Poems in Ode to the Robin Redbreast
“The One in Red Cravat” is a delightful poetry collection celebrating our feathery friend, the Robin Redbreast. The Robin is a symbol of spring song and good fortune, often representing growth, renewal, passion, or change.
The Poet of the Woods
A Collection of Poems in Ode to the Nightingale
“The Poet of the Woods” is a delightful classic poetry collection about nightingales. The nightingale produces a powerful and beautiful song that has inspired poets since time immemorial.
King of the Night
A Collection of Poems in Ode to the Owl
One of the most mysterious of birds and rarely seen, it is not surprising that the owl is the focus of many poems. This wonderful poetry book is a collection of some of the finest owl poetry ever written.
Our newest releases in poetry feature three gorgeous little volumes of poetry of birds. These delightful classic poetry collections feature some of the greatest poets of all time, such as Wordsworth, Dickinson, Cowper, Shakespeare, Keats, Tennyson and many more. Featured often in British Romantic poetry and nature poetry in general, birds have always inspired poets, and they continue to be a recurring symbol in literature today. These beautiful poetry books make perfect gifts for poetry lovers and birders alike.
This charming book, Snow Flakes – A Chapter from the Book of Nature, is a beautiful collection of poems, reflections, and anecdotes connected by the common theme of the snowflake. These beautiful pieces explore the shape, structure, and beauty of snowflakes, accompanied by beautiful illustrations depicting snowflakes in various forms. It is the perfect wintery stocking filler for those interested in the beauty of the natural world.
A beautiful pocketbook of poetry written by William Wordsworth, The Book of Nature combines some of Wordsworth’s best poetry along the common theme of nature – something that featured heavily in the work of the Romantic poets. Wordsworth expresses his view on the natural world and its essential relationship with human beings through the poetry contained within this collection. To him, it represented a living thing, a sublime teacher-god that included all beauty and divine truth. This is a charming little stocking filler for both nature lovers and those with a keen interest in poetry.
If you enjoyed browsing this list of classic nature books, but need some more gifting inspiration, explore our carefully curated lists of beautiful books, classic poetry collections, children’s classics and more.