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1001 Stories Collection

The Lost Words

1001 The Lost Words
Added on 06th August 2020

Author Robert Macfarlane
Illustrator Jackie Morris
First published 2017
Publisher Hamish Hamilton at Penguin

A stunning and important book that conjures up the natural world words that are dropping out of children's vocabulary.

Story

The Lost Words is a collection of spells in the form of acrostic poems written by Robert Macfarlane. Each spell has 3 illustrations accompanying it, one of the absence of the subject of the spell, one of the subject surrounded by gold leaf and one of the subject in its habitat.

Why we chose it

Motivated by the news that children were using vocabulary from the natural world less in their writing and that consequently these words were dropping out of children’s dictionaries, Mcfarlane and Morris were determined to fight back. They wrote this book of spells to conjure the words back into usage.

Where it came from

Robert Macfarlane began his relationship with words and landscape as he was completing his PhD. He began with an enquiry into role of the mountain and its impact on humans.

Jackie Morris began her journey as an illustrator after being inspired by her father ‘conjuring’ a lapwing onto a piece of paper. She lives and work in the Welsh countryside.

Where it went next

The Lost Words has inspired a number of creative projects. Crowdfunding campaigns have seen the book distributed to schools and care homes across the United Kingdom. An exhibition of the artworks and spells was developed at Compton Verney and has toured the country and a collaborative project with a number of prominent folk musicians lead to the creation of The Lost Words: Spell Songs. The book also won a number of awards including, Children's Book of the Year 2018 at the British Book of the Year Awards.

Associated Stories

Jackie Morris has written and illustrated a number of picture books, most of which have animals as protagonists. These include The Seal Children (2004), The Snow Leopard (2007), The Ice Bear (2010), Queen of the Sky (2011), I am Cat (2012), Song of the Golden Hare (2013), Something About a Bear (2014).

Robert Macfarlane has written a number of books exploring nature Mountains of the Mind: A History of a Fascination (2003), The Wild Places (2007), The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot (2012) Landmarks (2015), Underland: A Deep Time Journey (2019).

The Lost Spells a further collaboration between Macfarlane and Morris will be published in October 2020.

Added on 06th August 2020

Author Robert Macfarlane
Illustrator Jackie Morris
First published 2017
Publisher Hamish Hamilton at Penguin