A Feeling for Nature - Notes from a Golden Age
A Feeling for Nature - A Natural History Memoir - Notes from a Golden Age
Author and a Golden Age
Stan Breeden landed in the Australian bush in the middle of the night in May 1952. He was a 14 year old immigrant from the Netherlands. The next morning he thought he’d woken in paradise, surrounded as he was by colourful birds and beautiful trees. Stan spent the next 70 years exploring the bush’s wonders. In the process he became one of Australia’s pioneering nature photographers, writers and filmmakers with many award-winning works to his credit.
While steeped in the science of natural history, Stan also cultivated our emotional attachment for nature, recognizing its vital importance. Many of Stan’s books, such as Tropical Queensland and Uluru were seminal and groundbreaking.
In the 1970s and 80s Stan spent 12 years in the Indian jungles.
For many years Stan was a freelancer for National Geographic. As well as writing and photographing stories for the magazine he, with Belinda Wright, made two TV specials – Land of the Tiger and Australia’s Twilight of the Dreamtime, which is about Kakadu. Stan’s stories and photographs have appeared in magazines in many parts of the world. He lives, with his daughter, in tropical rainforest in far North Queensland.
Throughout his adventures, Stan kept a diary. These are the notes of a golden age, which stretched from about 1960 to 1990. It saw the birth of the nature conservation movement – vigorous, imaginative, effective. The bush, while under attack, was still largely intact and its wonders became better understood. You could go bush purely for pleasure and inspiration without having to look over your shoulder. This age is over and may never return. It has been overtaken by the age of climate change. Our feelings for nature are in decline. We need to reconnect with nature. This can be done simply, costs nothing and doesn’t need computer modeling. It will bring happiness and may well save us. This book shows the relevance of a golden age to the age of destruction.
Size: 15cm x 23cm
With this memoir Stan proposes something new, something unique for an Australian nature writer. Harnessing more than 60 years of observation and meticulous record keeping he leads us to a dramatic conclusion of great contemporary relevance: He asks if it might be possible that the way we have perceived nature might be the very thing that has estranged us from her.
Mike Carroll, Planet Earth Films
Stan’s writing is informative and descriptive but it also has that rare quality of lifting the reader into a reverie about the natural world. This writerly craft comes from intuition and a lifetime of traveling across the broad canvas of the natural world. He is word painter of the highest order.
Like the immortal, literary, fictional work Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, this work of non-fiction has been written in the grim and sobering time of Nature in the Time of the Corona Virus and Apocalyptic Bushfires.
Margaret Gee, Special Ambassador for the Snow Leopard
A Feeling for Nature is a brilliant combination of careful observation and outstanding communication that rewards the reader. We often talk about these wonderful people who can combine the skills of science with the passion and flair of art. Stan is one of these rare individuals, a renaissance person.
Peter Valentine, Adjunct Professor, James Cook University