The Seaweed Collector’s Handbook


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Seaweed is so familiar, yet oddly so mysterious.  Even its names – pepper dulse, sea lettuce, carrageen – are little known to us.  In this short, exquisitely illustrated portrait, the Dutch poet and artist Miek Zwamborn shares her discoveries of its history, culture and science, from the Neolithic people of the Orkney Islands to the sushi artisans in modern Japan.  We find seaweed troubling Columbus on his voyages across the Atlantic and intriguing von Humboldt in the Sargasso Sea.  We follow its inspiration for artists from Hokusai to Matisse.  We travel back in time to see the first photo album – Anna Atkins’ seaweed cyanotypes – and to the Victorian seaweed collectors. We glimpse its potential to counter climate change, absorbing CO2 faster than a tropical rainforest.

Concluding with a fabulous series of recipes for the ‘truffles of the sea’, this is a book that gives us fresh new ways to look at the seaside.

‘This exquisite cultural and natural history evokes the joy I feel every time I look into a rockpool on a bright day.’ John Wright, author of the Forager’s Calendar

First published by Profile Books.

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by Miek Zwamborn




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