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Simon Schama’s Landscape and Memory

Landscape and Memory, by Simon Schama. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1995. 652 pages, 250 black and white and 45 color illustrations.

ONCE, YEARS AGO, I got lost in the woods of New Milford, Connecticut. I had drifted away from a backyard party in search of Indian pipe flowers for my little daughter and lost the trail. It got darker and darker, and the more I tried to find my way out, the more I seemed to hem myself in: there were no guideposts, no markers, no signs of civilization anywhere. The land grew marshy; I had horrid visions of quicksand. Twisted trees and prickly bushes blocked my path through this wilderness of unremarkable foliage. I remembered useless bits of woodcraft, like my father’s conviction that you could always find your way out of the woods if you remembered that moss grew on the north side of tree trunks. But what good did this do when I had no idea what direction I’d

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