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Ernest Wilson was the foremost plant collector of his generation, responsible for introducing over 1,000 species to our gardens in the West. The authors of this book reveal Wilson's adventures through excerpts from his own writing as well describing their own experiences tracing his journeys in the wilds of China today.
Wilson's legacy includes glass plate photographs taken in Sichuan at the beginning of the 20th century, depicting landscapes, villages, river scenes, people and plants, veteran and exceptional trees. In 2006, armed with copies of these images and with the help of Chinese guides and local knowledge the authors retraced Wilson's footsteps, taking photographs themselves. The result, a splendid series of then and now images, are a key feature of this informative homage to a great plant hunter.
Further photographs provide a fascinating insight into the changes and continuities in China over a hundred year period, and offer a captivating glimpse of people and places in the remote province of Sichuan.
An epilogue to the book chronicles the authors last visit, revealing many changes wrought by the devastation of the Chinese earthquake of 12 May 2008, and also an uplifting conclusion the rebuilding of a long lost outdoor theatre at Mianzhu based on one of Wilsons own images.