John Lewis-Stempel - Where Poppies Blow - Orion Publishing Group

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds
Other Formats
  • Paperback £9.99
    More information
    • ISBN:9781780224916
    • Publication date:14 Sep 2017
  • E-Book £P.O.R.
    More information
    • ISBN:9780297869276
    • Publication date:03 Nov 2016

Where Poppies Blow

By John Lewis-Stempel

  • Hardback
  • £20.00

The natural history of the Western Front during the First World War by the award-winning author of Meadowland

Winner of the 2017 Wainwright Golden Beer Book Prize for nature writing

The natural history of the Western Front during the First World War

'If it weren't for the birds, what a hell it would be.'

During the Great War, soldiers lived inside the ground, closer to nature than many humans had lived for centuries. Animals provided comfort and interest to fill the blank hours in the trenches - bird-watching, for instance, was probably the single most popular hobby among officers. Soldiers went fishing in flooded shell holes, shot hares in no-man's land for the pot, and planted gardens in their trenches and billets. Nature was also sometimes a curse - rats, spiders and lice abounded, and disease could be biblical.

But above all, nature healed, and, despite the bullets and blood, it inspired men to endure. Where Poppies Blow is the unique story of how nature gave the British soldiers of the Great War a reason to fight, and the will to go on.

Biographical Notes

John Lewis-Stempel is an award-winning writer predominantly known for his books on nature and history. He lives in Herefordshire, on the very edge of England before it runs into Wales, and within a stone's throw (with a decent gust of wind) from where his family farmed in the 1300s. His many books include the bestselling SIX WEEKS, THE WAR BEHIND THE WIRE and MEADOWLAND. His books have been published in languages as diverse as Brazilian Portuguese and Japanese, are available on all continents apart from Antarctica, and have sold more than a million copies. He has two degrees in history, writes books under the pen name Jon E. Lewis, is married with two children, and also farms.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9780297869269
  • Publication date: 03 Nov 2016
  • Page count: 400
  • Imprint: W&N
'What makes Where Poppies Blow so freshly moving is the picture it paints of the reverence, love and kindness the natural world can engender, even in the most hellish conditions; as Philip Gosse of the Royal Army Medical Corps called it, "medicine for the mind and solace for the soul"' — Melissa Harrison, Financial Times
'In Where Poppies Blow, the nature writer, historian and farmer presents us with a beautiful and meticulous account of soldiers' relationship with nature . . . This book, which recounts the lives of our frontline soldiers from the ground up, is a truly wondrous and original work with an appeal far beyond military history' — Charlotte Heathcote, Daily Express Christmas Books
'Wonderful, beautifully written and often deeply moving' — Lawrence James, The Times
'Makes an important contribution to the literature by studying the British soldiers' relationship with Nature . . . Moving, strangely life-affirming' — Clive Aslet, Country Life
'Manages what might have seemed impossible: to find a new perspective on the Great War' — Mark Smith, Glasgow Herald
'From traumatized, trench-bound British soldiers caught up in the carnage of the First World War, birdwatching and botany offered solace. So reveals John Lewis-Stempel in this riveting study drawing on verse, letters and field notes by men who served, from zoologist Dene Fry to poet Edward Thomas . . . A remarkable picture of a human bloodbath that took place amid phenomenally rich biodiversity' — Nature
'Deeply moving . . . I finished this book marvelling at nature's healing power' — Jonathan Tulloch, The Tablet
'But natural history did not go into suspense while war was waged. Where Poppies Blow notes that many of the Edwardian boys who ended up on the Western Front still collected birds' eggs and butterflies' — Simon Heffer, Daily Telegraph
'Memorable' — Spectator
'One of the best nature writers to have come along in many years, John Lewis-Stempel turns his attention here to the relationship between soldiers and nature on the Western Front during the First World War' — John Preston, Daily Mail Christmas Books
'Nature writer and military historian John Lewis-Stempel has created a eulogy to the flora and fauna that helped men soldier on during the First World War . . . Where Poppies Blow is full of fascinating (sometimes heart-wrenching) information about the role of nature and animals in this brutal war' — Rachel Stiles, BBC Countryfile
W&N

General Jack's Diary 1914-18

John Terraine
Authors:
John Terraine
W&N

Waiting for the Albino Dunnock

Rosamond Richardson
Authors:
Rosamond Richardson
Trapeze

My Mad Dad

Robyn Hollingworth
Authors:
Robyn Hollingworth

Inadvertent cross dressing Attempted murder Jail break A waltz at a funeral A hernia the size of GuernseyHeartbreaking and darkly comic, these are the moments that litter the messy road from cared-for to carer, a journey that Robyn Hollingworth finds herself on when she's only twenty-five years old. Leaving London to return home to rural South Wales, Robyn finds that it's her old life - same teddy bears resting on her pillow, their bodies tucked under the duvet; same view of the garages behind which she'd had her first cigarette and first kiss - but so much has changed. Her dad, the proud, charmingly intelligent, self-made man who made people laugh, was in the grip of early onset Alzheimer's. His brilliant mind, which saw him building power stations and literally bringing light into the lives of others, had succumbed to darkness. As Robyn settles back in the rhythms of life in the rain-soaked vast Welsh valleys, she keeps a diary charting her journey as the dad she knew disappears before her eyes. Lyrical, poignant and with flashes of brilliant humour, My Mad Dad explores how in helping others we can heal ourselves. 'At some point the cared for become the carers...this isn't a shame and it isn't a tragedy and it isn't a chore. It is an honour. To be able to return the gift of love that someone bestows upon you is a gift in itself. This is a story of caring...'

Trapeze

The Electricity of Every Living Thing

Katherine May
Authors:
Katherine May
W&N

The Reading Cure

Laura Freeman
Authors:
Laura Freeman

At the age of fourteen, Laura Freeman was diagnosed with anorexia. She had seized the one aspect of her life that she seemed able to control, and struck different foods from her diet one by one until she was starving. But even at her lowest point, the one appetite she never lost was her love of reading.As Laura battled her anorexia, she gradually re-discovered how to enjoy food - and life more broadly - through literature. Plum puddings and pottles of fruit in Dickens gave her courage to try new dishes; the wounded Robert Graves' appreciation of a pair of greengages changed the way she thought about plenty and choice; Virginia Woolf's painterly descriptions of bread, blackberries and biscuits were infinitely tempting. Book by book, meal by meal, Laura developed an appetite and discovered an entire library of reasons to live.The Reading Cure is a beautiful, inspiring account of hunger and happiness, about addiction, obsession and recovery, and about the way literature and food can restore appetite and renew hope.

W&N

Heal Me

Julia Buckley
Authors:
Julia Buckley

Julia Buckley needs a miracle. Like a third of the UK population, she has a chronic pain condition. According to her doctors, it can't be cured. She doesn't believe them. She does believe in miracles, though. It's just a question of tracking one down.Julia's search for a cure takes her on a global quest, exploring the boundaries between science, psychology and faith with practitioners on the fringes of conventional, traditional and alternative medicine. From neuroplastic brain rewiring in San Francisco to medical marijuana in Colorado, Haitian vodou rituals to Brazilian 'spiritual surgery', she's willing to try anything. Can miracles happen? And more importantly, what happens next if they do?Raising vital questions about the modern medical system, this is also a story about identity in a system historically skewed against 'hysterical' female patients, and the struggle to retain a sense of self under the medical gaze. Heal Me explains why modern medicine's current approach to chronic pain is failing patients. It explores the importance of faith, hope and cynicism, and examines our relationships with our doctors, our beliefs and ourselves.

W&N

Goodbye Europe

Various
Authors:
Various

The perfect read this Christmas. Spend time with some of your favourite writers and artists in this truly unique collection which spans everything from nature, art, language, food, music and movies, to war, literature, driving, nudity, geography, smoking and nature.Featuring pieces of exceptional quality from some of our most treasured novelists, historians, journalists, poets and artists, including: Jessie Burton, Richard Herring, Alain de Botton, Tom Bradby, Val McDermid, Matt Haig, Afua Hirsch, Lionel Shriver, Sarah Perry, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Ian Rankin, Owen Jones, Mark Kermode, Robert Macfarlane, Chris Riddell, Former Prime Minister Jim Hacker and many more.Goodbye Europe is not a book about politics - it is a book about what makes us British, and what makes us European. A must-read for anyone who wants to understand the times we live in, our relationship with the continent, and ourselves.* * * * *INCLUDES PIECES BY:Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Tom Bradby, Jessie Burton, Ben Collins (aka The Stig), Colonel Tim Collins, Robert Crampton, Adam Dant, Alain de Botton, Kate Eberlen, Matt Frei, Nicci French, Simon Garfield, Jonathan Lynn writing as Former Prime Minister Jim Hacker, Matt Haig, Richard Herring, Jennifer Higgie, Afua Hirsch, Owen Jones, Oliver Kamm, Alex Kapranos, Mark Kermode, Hari Kunzru, Olivia Laing, Marie Le Conte, Amy Liptrot, Robert Macfarlane, Henry Marsh, Val McDermid, Ian McEwan, Hollie McNish, Kate Mosse, Jenni Murray, Sarah Perry, Ian Rankin, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Cathy Rentzenbrink, Chris Riddell, Andrew Roberts, Will Self, David Shrigley, Lionel Shriver, Sunny Singh, Ece Temelkuran, Rob Temple, Bee Wilson, Sarah Winman

Trapeze

The Wild Book

David Scarfe
Authors:
David Scarfe
Trapeze

Things I Have Drawn

Tom Curtis
Authors:
Tom Curtis

Perfect funny stocking-filler gift for fans of the Instagram sensation THINGS I HAVE DRAWN. KIDS' DRAWINGS HILARIOUSLY BROUGHT TO LIFE. *****Have you ever wondered what the world would look like if children's drawings were real?Wonder no more. Global Instagram sensation THINGS I HAVE DRAWN does just that - and the results are AMAZING.8-year-old Dom and 6-year-old Al are brothers who love to doodle, and then Dad Tom painstakingly transforms their creations into photorealistic scenes. Join the family on a trip to the zoo and laugh your socks off at all of the weird and wonderful creatures, including a gurning goat, a terrifying polar bear and a rather smug looking flamingo. Spectacularly funny and slightly disturbing, this book is packed with previously unseen material and the brilliant before-and-after images that have made @thingsihavedrawn such a cult hit.

Orion

Lenin the Dictator

Victor Sebestyen
Authors:
Victor Sebestyen

Victor Sebestyen's intimate biography is the first major work in English for nearly two decades on one of the most significant figures of the twentieth century. In Russia to this day Lenin inspires adulation. Everywhere, he continues to fascinate as a man who made history, and who created a new kind of state that would later be imitated by nearly half the countries in the world.Lenin believed that the 'the political is the personal', and while in no way ignoring his political life, Sebestyen's focus will be on Lenin the man - a man who loved nature almost as much as he loved making revolution, and whose closest ties and friendships were with women. The long-suppressed story of his ménage a trois with his wife, Nadezhda Krupskaya, and his mistress and comrade, Inessa Armand, reveals a different character to the coldly one-dimensional figure of legend.Told through the prism of Lenin's key relationships, Sebestyen's lively biography casts a new light the Russian Revolution, one of the great turning points of modern history.Read by Jonathan Aris(p) 2017 Orion Publishing Group Ltd

W&N

The Mesmerist

Wendy Moore
Authors:
Wendy Moore
W&N

Pour Me

A.A. Gill
Authors:
A.A. Gill

SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2016 PEN ACKERLEY PRIZE'An intense, succulent read that's intermittently dazzling' THE TIMES'Chilling, exquisitely moving' DAILY TELEGRAPH'A superb memoir - and one of the best books on addiction I have ever read' EVENING STANDARDA. A. Gill's memoir begins in the dark of a dormitory with six strangers. He is an alcoholic, dying in the last-chance saloon. He tells the truth - as far as he can remember it - about drinking and about what it is like to be drunk. He recalls the lost days, lost friends, failed marriages ... But there was also an 'optimum inebriation, a time when it was all golden'.Sobriety regained, there are painterly descriptions of people and places, unforgettable musings about childhood and family, art and religion; and most movingly, the connections between his cooking, dyslexia and his missing brother. Full of raw and unvarnished truths, exquisitely written throughout, POUR ME is about lost time and self-discovery. Lacerating, unflinching, uplifting, it is a classic about drunken abandon.

Orion

Testament of Youth

Vera Brittain
Authors:
Vera Brittain

This classic memoir of the First World War is now a major motion picture starring Alicia Vikander and Kit Harington.In 1914 Vera Brittain was 20, and as war was declared she was preparing to study at Oxford. Four years later her life - and the life of her whole generation - had changed in a way that would have been unimaginable in the tranquil pre-war era.TESTAMENT OF YOUTH, one of the most famous autobiographies of the First World War, is Brittain's account of how she survived those agonising years; how she lost the man she loved; how she nursed the wounded and how she emerged into an altered world. A passionate record of a lost generation, it made Vera Brittain one of the best-loved writers of her time, and has lost none of its power to shock, move and enthral readers since its first publication in 1933.(p) 1998 Soundings

W&N

Desert Queen

Janet Wallach
Authors:
Janet Wallach

The life of Gertrude Bell is now the subject of the major motion picture Queen of the Desert, starring Nicole Kidman, James Franco and Damian LewisTurning away from privileged Victorian Britain, Gertrude Bell explored, mapped and excavated the world of the Arabs, winning the trust of Arab sheiks and chieftains along the way. When the First World War erupted and the British needed the loyalty of Arab leaders, Gertrude Bell provided the intelligence for T.E. Lawrence's military activities. After the war, she played a major role in creating the modern Middle East, and was generally considered the most powerful woman in the British Empire.In this major reassessment of Bell's life, Janet Wallach reveals a woman whose achievements and independent spirit were especially remarkable for her times, and who brought the same passion and intensity to her explorations as she did to her rich and romantic life.

W&N

Rudyard Kipling

Andrew Lycett
Authors:
Andrew Lycett

Paragon of English virtues or racist imperialist? Andrew Lycett (acclaimed biographer of Ian Fleming) has returned to primary sources to tell the intricate story of a misunderstood genius who became Britain's most famous and highest earning author. Among the many new sources, Lycett has discovered previously unpublished letters that illuminate Kipling's crucial years in India, his first girlfriend (the model for Mrs Hauksbee of Plain Tales from the Hills), his parents' decision to send him back to England to boarding school; and in his adult life his use of opium, his frustrating times in London and the brief peace he found in America before the devastating loss of both his young daughter and, in the First World War, his son. Lycett also uncovers the extraordinary story of Kipling's great love for Flo Garrard, daughter of the crown jeweller, and unravels the complicated yet enthralling saga of the American family the Balestiers, and of Carrie Balestier who became Kipling's wife. This biography is full of new material on Kipling's financial dealings with Lord Beaverbrook, his friendships with T.E. Lawrence, the painter Edward Burne-Jones and the Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin (who was his cousin).

W&N

Berlin

Rory MacLean
Authors:
Rory MacLean

The first single-volume biography of Berlin, one of the world's great cities - told via twenty-one portraits, from medieval times to the twenty-first century.A city devastated by Allied bombs, divided by a Wall, then reunited and reborn, Berlin today resonates with the echo of lives lived, dreams realised and evils executed. No other city has repeatedly been so powerful and fallen so low. And few other cities have been so shaped and defined by individual imaginations.Through vivid portraits spanning five centuries, Rory MacLean reveals the varied and rich history of Berlin, from its brightest to its darkest moments. We encounter an ambitious prostitute refashioning herself as a princess, a Scottish mercenary fighting for the Prussian Army, Marlene Dietrich flaunting her sexuality and Hitler fantasising about the mega-city Germania. The result is a uniquely imaginative biography of one of the world's most volatile yet creative cities.

W&N

Empire of the Deep

Ben Wilson
Authors:
Ben Wilson

The bestselling complete history of the British Navy - our national story through a different prism.The story of our navy is nothing less than the story of Britain, our culture and our empire. Much more than a parade of admirals and their battles, this is the story of how an insignificant island nation conquered the world's oceans to become its greatest trading empire. Yet, as Ben Wilson shows, there was nothing inevitable about this rise to maritime domination, nor was it ever an easy path. EMPIRE OF THE DEEP: THE RISE AND FALL OF THE BRITISH NAVY also reveals how our naval history has shaped us in more subtle and surprising ways - our language, culture, politics and national character all owe a great debt to this conquest of the seas. This is a gripping, fresh take on our national story.

W&N

The War Behind the Wire

John Lewis-Stempel
Authors:
John Lewis-Stempel

The last untold story of the First World War: the fortunes and fates of 170,000 British soldiers captured by the enemy.On capture, British officers and men were routinely told by the Germans 'For you the war is over'. Nothing could be further from the truth. British Prisoners of War merely exchanged one barbed-wire battleground for another.In the camps the war was eternal. There was the war against the German military, fought with everything from taunting humour to outright sabotage, with a literal spanner put in the works of the factories and salt mines prisoners were forced to slave in. British PoWs also fought a valiant war against the conditions in which they were mired. They battled starvation, disease, Prussian cruelties, boredom, and their own inner demons. And, of course, they escaped. Then escaped again. No less than 29 officers at Holzminden camp in 1918 burrowed their way out via a tunnel (dug with a chisel and trowel) in the Great Escape of the Great War.It was war with heart-breaking consequences: more than 12,000 PoWs died, many of them murdered, to be buried in shallow unmarked graves.Using contemporary records - from prisoners' diaries to letters home to poetry - John Lewis-Stempel reveals the death, life and, above all, the glory of Britain's warriors behind the wire. For it was in the PoW camps, far from the blasted trenches, that the true spirit of the Tommy was exemplified.

W&N

THE GERMAN EMPIRE

Michael Stuermer
Authors:
Michael Stuermer

A vivid, concise account of the German Empire, from its proclamation at Versailles in 1871 to its final dissolution, also at Versailles, in 1919.The period of almost half a century from 1871 to 1919 was one of huge upheaval, restlessness and change in Germany. Situated at the crossroads of history and geography, the country under Bismarck was struggling to preserve the predominance of Prussia and its traditional ruling elites, whilst also recognising the importance of modernisation. By the turn of the century Germany had overtaken Britain as the workshop of the world in industry, science, ideas and the arts, with enormous investments being made in these areas. Many people lost or swapped their traditional livelihoods, moved from the countryside to the cities, and embarked on a road to a prosperity unparalleled in Europe. Then in 1914 came the outbreak of the First World War, unleashing one of the greatest catastrophes of the twentieth century.

W&N

Bloody April

Peter Hart
Authors:
Peter Hart