Publication Date: 06/09/2018 ISBN: 9781783525805 Category:
Featured in Mr B's 2018 Christmas Catalogue

Ladders to Heaven

Mike Shanahan

Publisher: Unbound
Publication Date: 06/09/2018 ISBN: 9781783525805 Category:
Paperback / Softback



Mr B's review

Mr B’s Christmas Catalogue Review 2018

As we enter figgy pudding season, this niche but brilliant book explores the importance of fig trees. Alongside a fascinating look at their cultural influence, symbolism and history, we see how the now 700-odd varieties of this incredible plant have withstood more than 80 million years of planetary upheaval, how wasps help them bear fruit year round to sustain so many other species and how they could yet play a vital role in repairing forests and limiting climate change.


“Irresistible” – Literary Review

Fig trees have affected humanity in profound but little-known ways: they are wish-fulfillers, rainforest royalty, more precious than gold. Ladders to Heaven tells their incredible story.

They fed our pre-human ancestors, influenced diverse cultures and played a key role in the birth of civilisation. More recently, they helped restore life after Krakatoa’s catastrophic eruption and proved instrumental in Kenya’s struggle for independence.

Figs now sustain more species of bird and mammal than any other fruit – in a time of falling trees and rising temperatures, they offer hope. Theirs is a story about humanity’s relationship with nature, as relevant to our past as it is to our future.

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