Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Sarah Simblet and The New Sylva - a video

Back in 2008 I did a drawing class with Sarah Simblet about Drawing Trees at the National Gallery. She talked about a major project she had embarked upon to draw trees.

Little did I realise at the time this would lead her to illustrating a new and revised version of a very old book about trees. The New Sylva - published this month - is an updated book about trees which takes as its starting point John Evelyn's Sylva (A Discourse of Forest Trees, and the Propagation of Timber in his Majesty's Dominions) published in 1664 - which was the world's first book about Forestry.

That wasn't illustrated - and this one is - with 200 new pen and ink drawings of more than 100 tree species.

Images from the book can be viewed on Facebook
The original book was for landed estates which grew trees. The new book is for everyone.

You can:

The events associated with the publication of The New Sylva are all located as one might expect at arboreta and botanical gardens


A major exhibition of drawings from The New Sylva together with information panels covering the history of Evelyn’s Sylva and the behind the scenes stories of the making of the book can be seen at:


Outdoor trail around the arboretum featuring selected drawings from The New Sylva, together with information panels - can be found at:


Chalke Valley History Festival - 28th June 2014 - See - Gabriel  Hemery and Sarah Simblet will be talking about the creation of The New Sylva at the literary festival at this fabulous outdoor event.

Book: The New Sylva
Published: 10th April 2014 | Format: Hardback | Edition: 1st
Extent: 400pp. | Dimensions: 290 x 245 x 38 mm
ISBN: 9781408835449
Imprint: Bloomsbury Publishing
RRP: £50.00
Online price: £45.00 (also available on in October 2014)


  1. Wow that book lookls and sounds amazing.

  2. Fascinating, thanks Katherine! The book looks beautiful and the video was very interesting.


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