A Tribute to Rachel Carson

Why did I name an important character “Carson,” in my novel, Wounds?


It’s because I have a great admiration for Rachel Carson, the premier environmentalist of the 20th Century. And I use the word “premier” in its meanings of foremost in rank (as well as very-nearly first in occurrence).

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Rachel Carson’s book, Silent Spring, the ecological wake-up call. This month’s issue of Audubon has an excellent article about Rachel Carson, “Carson and Camelot,” by Douglas Brinkley.


This cover shows what Spring should be like; musical with the songs of birds.

Brinkley quotes Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas in describing Silent Spring as “the most important chronicle of this century for the human race. This book is a call for immediate action and for effective control of all merchants of poison.”

This cover is more realistic.

Brinkley goes on to say, “The result [of the book] was a watershed event in Americans’ understanding of their impact on the environment. . . . her warnings about overconfidence in the efficacy and safety of agricultural chemicals kick-started the modern environmental movement . . .”

For children, Carson’s book, The Edge of the Sea, is both very imformative and beautifully written. Here is part of the first paragraph:

“The edge of the sea is a strange and beautiful place. All through the long history of Earth it has been an area of unrest where waves have broken heavily against the land, where the tides have pressed forward over the continents, receded, and then returned. . . . Always the edge of the sea remains an elusive and indefinable boundary.”

For me, as a novelist, I could think of no higher tribute for Rachel Carson than naming a character after her.

Wounds is available here: http://bit.ly/pjSEdC

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Nancy Stewart
    May 08, 2012 @ 07:34:33

    I agree with you! It is a lovely tribute for such an important person. It’s always fun to learn the story within the story. Thanks for sharing, Barbara.


  2. Jayne
    May 08, 2012 @ 09:54:38

    Thanks for sharing this Barbara. : )


  3. barbarabockman
    May 08, 2012 @ 17:21:29

    Hi Nancy and Jayne, thanks to both of you for stopping by. It’s always a pleasure for me to spread the word about Rachel Carson.


  4. 7theaven
    May 09, 2012 @ 03:51:01

    I haven’t read or heard about Rachel Carson, but thanks to you, now I did!


  5. Penelope Anne Cole
    May 16, 2012 @ 14:47:55

    Barbara, I was one who read Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” many long years ago and became “an environmentalist” because of her book. I hope more people, kids and adults will take it to heart. Thanks for this tribute.


  6. barbarabockman
    May 17, 2012 @ 00:56:10

    Hi Penelope Anne. I think many of us became environmentalist because of Rachel Carson. I hope my readers are spreading the word and introducing another generation of kids to her beautiful children’s books.


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