Wanderers in the New Forest by Juliette de Baïracli Levy
“With understanding she writes about culture. With authority she writes about herbology. And with love she writes about her family and friends. It is like an honest and open letter addressed to all, and I sincerely hope you enjoy, like I have, Juliette’s wilder spirit.” Megan McCubbin
Known as the ‘grandmother of herbalism’, Juliette de Baïracli Levy was born in Manchester and travelled throughout Europe and North America in pursuit of her passion for herbs and holistic medicine, living predominantly in rural places with peasant farmers or Gypsy communities who helped expand her knowledge of plants and living from the land. In the early 1950s, her nomadic ways took her to the New Forest, Hampshire, where she settled in a thatched ‘cabin’ for three years and raised her children in the woods.
Originally published in 1958, Wanderers in the New Forest describes an extraordinary family life living wild: drawing spring water from Abbots Well, bathing in Windmill Hill Pond and sharing the water with their animal neighbours, foraging for fruits and fungi or tending to their forest garden of herbs, flowers and vegetables. Juliette’s friendships within the local Gypsy community also enabled her to record the impact of post-war modernisation on their traditions, ancient rights and intimate knowledge of the New Forest. Our new edition is illustrated throughout with photographs taken by Juliette while living in the forest.
Introduction by Megan McCubbin
Photographs throughout by Juliette de Baïracli Levy
Published in March 2023, paperback.
Juliette de Baïracli Levy was a pioneer of holistic veterinary medecine. She was born in Manchester and studied veterinary medicine at the Universities of Manchester and Liverpool, but became disillusioned with the way these institutions treated animals. Two years into her studies, she left university and embarked instead on a journey around the world, living with nomads, Gypsies and peasant farmers, so she could learn how to use plants for the treatment of animals. In the late 1930s, she returned to England and started a clinic in London that became particularly well-known for treating canine distemper. She also wrote many influential books on veterinary herbs, including The Complete Herbal Handbook for Farm and Stable (1952) and The Complete Herbal Book for the Dog and Cat (1955). She died at the age of 96 in Burgdorf, Switzerland.