Everybody Needs Beauty

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Everyone is talking about the connection between nature and mental health. Hospitals are being retrofitted with gardens and green spaces; on the Shetland Islands, it's possible to walk into a doctor's surgery with anxiety and depression, and walk out with a prescription for nature. But where has this come from? The 'nature cure', it turns out, has a long history, and in this book, British academic Samantha Walton sets out to uncover its cultural legacy. From the miraculous waters of Lourdes, to a turn-of-the century wilderness retreat in Maine, and from a forest bathing centre in Finland to a laboratory working on simulating the experience of nature indoors, she visits landscapes particularly associated with healing, to investigate the history and science of the pull of these natural spaces, and the writers who have engaged with them.