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

Heal Me

Julia Buckley
Authors:
Julia Buckley

Like a third of the UK population, Julia 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. Raising vital questions about the modern medical system, Heal Me is also a story about identity in a system skewed against female patients, and the struggle to retain a sense of self under the medical gaze.

Trapeze

Where's David Attenborough?

Adam Rushton
Authors:
Adam Rushton

Sir David Attenborough is famous for finding incredible creatures... but what if he was the one who needed tracking down? Are you as eagle-eyed as the famous naturalist? Could you spot Sir David in the Savannah or pick him out from the penguins? This book will test your skills as you follow everyone's favourite 92-year-old around the world, as he is hidden in amongst 10 highly illustrated wildlife scenes - from the far-flung Galapagos Islands and birds of paradise, to the depths of the ocean and on safari in the Serengheti. There will be plenty of 'easter eggs' to find too. You must locate his nemesis - the discarded plastic bottle - on each spread, as well as finding members of the camera crew and other hidden gems.

Orion

The House of Shadows

Kate Williams
Authors:
Kate Williams

The final compelling historical saga concluding a trilogy that began with Storms of War and The Edge of the Fall, from popular TV historian and critically-acclaimed author Kate Williams. Celia De Witt is half-German, half-English and heir to her family's vast fortune. But it is 1929, the world is changing and her life seems less secure than ever. A shocking revelation from her father sends her far from England and the life she knew and headlong into New York, a city brimming with money and promise. Celia sets about saving the family firm by creating an innovative new range of convenience foods for the new generation of independent young women. But she also has other plans. The son she thought was dead is in America and the man she once thought she loved is nearby - but if she opens the Pandora's Box of the past, she may find other secrets will escape... As the shadow of war once again threatens to fall across Europe, Celia is determined to save those she loves, even if it comes at the highest price...'A beautifully conjured family saga. Fans of Downton Abbey will love it' - Alison Weir'This terrific saga comes with a fascinating twist ... Williams has a gift for showing how great movements in history affect the lives of people caught up in them' The Times

W&N

Neon in Daylight

Hermione Hoby
Authors:
Hermione Hoby

Trapeze

My Mad Dad

Robyn Hollingworth
Authors:
Robyn Hollingworth
Trapeze

The Electricity of Every Living Thing

Katherine May
Authors:
Katherine May

A life-affirming and perspective-shifting memoir of one woman's walk in the wilds as she comes to terms with an Asperger's diagnosis. In August 2015, Katherine May set out to walk the 630-mile South West Coast Path. She wanted to understand why she had stopped coping with everyday life; why motherhood had been so overwhelming and isolating, and why the world felt full of inundation and expectations she can't meet. Setting her feet down on the rugged and difficult path by the sea, the answer begins to unfold. It's a chance encounter with a voice on the radio that sparks a realisation that she has Asperger's Syndrome. The Electricity of Every Living Thing tells the story of the year in which Katherine comes to terms with her diagnosis. It leads to a re-evaluation of her life so far - a kinder one, which finally allows her to be different rather than simply awkward, arrogant or unfeeling. The physical and psychological journeys become inextricably entwined, and as Katherine finds her way across the untameable coast, she also finds the way to herself. This book is a life-affirming exploration of wild landscapes, what it means to be different and, above all, how we can all learn to make peace within our own unquiet minds.

W&N

The Deadly Trade

Iain Ballantyne
Authors:
Iain Ballantyne

The Deadly Trade is a fascinating and comprehensive account of how an initially ineffectual craft evolved into the most powerful and terrifying vessel ever invented.At the heart of this thrilling narrative lurks danger and power as acclaimed naval writer Iain Ballantyne reveals some of warfare's murkiest secrets. The cast of colourful characters includes an American who devised plunging boats to attack the British, then switched sides and tried to help the Royal Navy defeat Napoleon; a former monk who created submersible boats to assist the cause of Irish liberation; and a spy who, during the American Civil War, hid Confederate submarine secrets in her bonnet.The reader is plunged into the epic convoy battles of the twentieth century's world wars, when hopes of victory were placed on the shoulders of daring young submarine captains, many of whom perished along with the men they commanded.We learn of efforts by the British to seize Enigma material from U-boats, how Germany's so-called Grey Wolves were not always brave or invincible, and the role of American submarines in bringing Japan to its knees.Also covered are attacks by Royal Navy X-craft on Tirpitz, Nazi plans to bombard New York with primitive cruise missiles, and episodes when the Cold War era turned hot, not least the sinking of the Belgrano. The story concludes with a look at the resurgence of submarines as political and military tools and the threat of nuclear annihilation they pose.

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

Goodbye Europe

Various
Authors:
Various
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.

Seven Dials

The Little Big Things

Henry Fraser
Authors:
Henry Fraser

THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER'Henry Fraser is one of the most remarkable people I've ever met' J.K. Rowling 'What a story of transformation, inner power and inspiration' Jonny Wilkinson The memoir of the year by Henry Fraser, motivational speaker and mouth artist with a foreword by J.K. Rowling.Being challenged in life is inevitable, but being defeated is optional...Henry Fraser was 17 years old when a tragic accident severely crushed his spinal cord. Paralysed from the shoulders down, he has conquered unimaginable difficulty to embrace life and a new way of living. Through challenging adversity, he has found the opportunity to grow and inspire others.This book combines his wisdom and insight into finding the gifts in life's challenges, and will resonate with anyone facing an obstacle, no matter how big or small. It includes Henry's thoughts on how to look at the right things and avoid the wrong, finding progress in whatever you do, and acknowledging and accepting the darkness when it comes. Right at the heart of Henry's inspiring philosophy is his belief that every day is a good day.

W&N

Waiting for the Albino Dunnock

Rosamond Richardson
Authors:
Rosamond Richardson

'A beautiful book' Tim Birkhead, author of Bird Sense'The prose is sublime, and so is the intelligence behind it' Bel Mooney, Daily MailThe extraordinary world of birds has the power to change lives, as it did the author's. The pleasure and fascination of bird-watching, together with the silence and stillness involved, can play a part in changing the way that we live our lives - and can help us when we have to deal with adversity.Personal and elegiac, Waiting for the Albino Dunnock shows us how beauty is central to our emotional wellbeing, and reminds us of the careless damage we are inflicting on the natural world. This glorious pilgrimage into the soaring world of birds opens our eyes afresh to the beauty which surrounds us.

W&N

Lenin the Dictator

Victor Sebestyen
Authors:
Victor Sebestyen

Shortlisted for the Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical BiographyVictor 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 focuses 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 on the Russian Revolution, one of the great turning points of modern history.

W&N

Boom

Russell Miller
Authors:
Russell Miller
W&N

A Storm in Flanders

Winston Groom
Authors:
Winston Groom

A fast-paced and vivid narrative of the most horrific campaign in history: the four-year slaughter around the Belgian town of Ypres 1914-18. Switching seamlessly between the generals' headquarters, the politicians' councils and, above all, the mud and blood of the trenches, this is a wonderfully accessible history. Winston Churchill and Adolf Hitler both fought in the front line at Ypres: Groom reveals what happened to both men. We see the campaign through their eyes and the experience of other officers and men, including the war poet Edmund Blunden (later professor of poetry at Oxford). From the desperate defence put up by the tiny British regular army in 1914 to the infamous Passchendaele offensive, this is popular history at its best.

Orion

The Edge of the Fall

Kate Williams
Authors:
Kate Williams

In the aftermath of the Great War, the de Witt family are struggling to piece together the shattered fragments of their lives.Rudolf and his wife Verena, still reeling from the loss of their second son, don't know how to function in the post-war world. Stoneythorpe Hall has become an empty shell with no servants to ensure its upkeep.Celia, the de Witt's youngest daughter, is still desperate to spread her wings and see more of the world. To escape Stoneythorpe and the painful secrets that lie there, she moves to London and embraces life and love in the Roaring Twenties.

W&N

Margot at War

Anne de Courcy
Authors:
Anne de Courcy

Margot Asquith was perhaps the most daring and unconventional Prime Minister's wife in British history. Known for her wit, style and habit of speaking her mind, she transformed 10 Downing Street into a glittering social and intellectual salon. Yet her last four years at Number 10 were a period of intense emotional and political turmoil in her private and public life. In 1912, when Anne de Courcy's book opens, rumblings of discontent and cries for social reform were encroaching on all sides - from suffragettes, striking workers and Irish nationalists. Against this background of a government beset with troubles, the Prime Minister fell desperately in love with his daughter's best friend, Venetia Stanley; to complicate matters, so did his Private Secretary. Margot's relationship with her husband was already bedevilled by her stepdaughter's jealous, almost incestuous adoration of her father. The outbreak of the First World War only heightened these swirling tensions within Downing Street. Drawing on unpublished material from personal papers and diaries, Anne de Courcy vividly recreates this extraordinary time when the Prime Minister's residence was run like an English country house, with socialising taking precedence over politics, love letters written in the cabinet room and gossip and state secrets exchanged over the bridge table. By 1916, when Asquith was forced out of office, everything had changed. For the country as a whole, for those in power, for a whole stratum of society, but especially for the Asquiths and their circle, it was the end of an era. Life inside Downing Street would never be the same again.

W&N

Pour Me

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

Good Hope Road

Sarita Mandanna
Authors:
Sarita Mandanna

At the outset of the Great War in 1914, New England Yankee James Stonebridge and Louisiana native Obadaiah Nelson volunteer with the French Foreign Legion. They are among a handful of Americans who did so, young men fired up by idealism and lured by the chance of adventure and escape. Despite their very different backgrounds, James and Obadaiah forge a friendship that helps them endure the squalor of the trenches and the brutal realities of war. Fourteen years after the end of the war, Major James Stonebridge has become a haunted recluse, and the burden of his care falls upon his son, Jim. Jim has fallen in love with Madeleine, a spirited bohemian who brings light and laughter to the sombre world of the apple farm. But it is only when the Major decides to join the Bonus marchers in Washington that Jim begins to fathom his father's past. From pre-war Paris to the trenches of Europe and the apple orchards of New England, Good Hope Road is a powerful and deeply affecting story of the legacy of war, the strength of the human spirit and the search for redemption.Read by John Chancer(p) 2015 Orion Publishing Group

W&N

Call to Arms

Charles Messenger
Authors:
Charles Messenger