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Heritage Ireland

Dublin Book Festival: The Naturalist’s Bookshelf


€5 + €1.34 booking fee

Book Tickets


2:00 pm - 3:00 pm


National Botanic Garden of Ireland – Glasnevin

An event banner for Dublin Book Fesitval event The Naturalist's Bookshelf. There are photos of all the panellists: Lisa Fingleton, Anja Murray, Gwen Wilkinson, and Paddy Woodworth

The ‘wild’ word in nature writing: shifting meanings, clashing responses.

As part of the Dublin Book Festival, the National Botanic Gardens are delighted to host The Naturalist’s Bookshelf – The ‘wild’ word in nature writing: shifting meanings, clashing responses with Lisa Fingleton, Anja Murray, Gwen Wilkinson and Paddy Woodworth in conversation with Luke Clancy. In Partnership with RTÉ Lyric FM’s Culture File.

The idea of ‘the wild’ has great power both to attract us, and to repel us – sometimes both at once. Before the Romantic movement, the term was mainly repellent in European literature, referring to ‘uncivilised’ lands and peoples, savage, dangerous and frightening places. The Romantics inverted this stereotype, seeing untamed and uncrowded nature as a lost Eden, a blessed refuge for souls fleeing the constraints and oppression of industrialised cities, even as a synonym for the sublime. Today, it’s a powerful and frequently used word in book titles, whether offering a more authentic version of something familiar, or responding to the degradation that has generated the climate and biodiversity crises. But for all its popularity, it remains a problematic word, not least in discussions of ‘rewilding’ or when used to evoke a counterfactual world in which human intervention never happened. Four nature writers, Lisa Fingleton, Anja Murray, Gwen Wilkinson, and Paddy Woodworth, discuss how we can better resolve the complicated promises and threats of “wild”. Chaired by Luke Clancy of RTÉ Lyric FM’s Culture File.

The event will be recorded for broadcast.

Book tickets here


Dublin 9
D09 VY63

01 857 0909

Getting Here

3.5 km north from centre of Dublin, Botanic Road, Glasnevin.

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