The natural history of the Western Front during the First World War by the author of MEADOWLAND, winner of the 2015 Wainwright Prize Where Poppies Blow is the unique story of the British soldiers of the Great War and their relationship with the animals and plants around them. This connection was of profound importance, because it goes a long way to explaining why they fought, and how they found the will to go on. At the most basic level, animals and birds provided interest to fill the blank hours in the trenches and billets - bird-watching, for instance, was probably the single most popular hobby among officers. But perhaps more importantly, the ability of nature to endure, despite the bullets and blood, gave men a psychological, spiritual, even religious uplift. Animals and plants were also reminders of home. Aside from bird-watching, soldiers went fishing in village ponds and in flooded shell holes (for eels), they went bird nesting, they hunted foxes with hounds, they shot pheasants for the pot, and they planted flower gardens in the trenches and vegetable gardens in their billets. It is in this elemental relationship between man and nature that some of the highest, noblest aspirations of humanity in times of war can be found.
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.
A new wartime classic from two legends of children's literature! Michael Morpurgo and Michael Foreman have teamed up with the British Legion to tell a new story inspired by the history of the poppy. When John McCrae wrote his famous poem "In Flanders Field" among the trenches of war-torn Belgium, neither he nor a local village girl who saves a discarded draft of it could know what enormous power that poem would have on generations to come.
'Dusk is filling the valley. It is the time of the gloaming, the owl-light. Out in the wood, the resident tawny has started calling, Hoo-hoo-hoo-h-o-o-o.' There is something about owls. They feature in every major culture from the Stone Age onwards. They are creatures of the night, and thus of magic. They are the birds of ill-tidings, the avian messengers from the Other Side. But owls - with the sapient flatness of their faces, their big, round eyes, their paternal expressions - are also reassuringly familiar. We see them as wise, like Athena's owl, and loyal, like Harry Potter's Hedwig. Human-like, in other words. No other species has so captivated us. In The Secret Life of the Owl, John Lewis-Stempel explores the legends and history of the owl. And in vivid, lyrical prose, he celebrates all the realities of this magnificent creature, whose natural powers are as fantastic as any myth. 'John Lewis-Stempel is one of the best nature writers of his generation' Country Life
Paul Von Lettow-Vorbeck and the Great War in Africa
Publisher: Oxford University Press
At the turn of the twentieth century, European colonial powers scrambled in Africa for trade, land and political advantage. When the First World War broke out, they were forced to contend with one another not just in trenches on the Western Front, but in East Africa’s swamps and savannahs. In that unforgiving landscape, General Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck and a small cadre of hardened German officers fought as equals with their African troops against the Allies, creating the first truly integrated army of the modern age. African Kaiser is the fascinating tale of a forgotten guerrilla campaign: of rhino charges and artillery duels with scavenged naval guns; of hunted German battleships hidden up unmapped river deltas; of a desperate army in the wilderness, cut off from the world, enduring starvation, malaria, and dysentery; and of the remarkable intercontinental voyage of Zeppelin L59, whose improbable 4,000 mile journey to the Equator and back made aviation history. But mostly, it is the incredible true story of General von Lettow-Vorbeck, the only undefeated German commander of the Great War.
Guerre mondiale, 1914-1918 / Ouvrages pour la jeunesse by Linda Granfield
Category: Guerre mondiale, 1914-1918 / Ouvrages pour la jeunesse
This award-winning tribute to the author of "In Flanders Fields" is now available in paperback. "In Flanders Fields the poppies blow/Between the crosses, row on row..." Every Canadian student, teacher, and parent can recite these powerful words. But behind every poem is a poet who lived, breathed, and in this case, led an extraordinary life. Despite John McCrae reaching Canadian icon status, his life story has been largely unknown. In Remembering John McCrae, Linda Granfield, one of Canada's finest historians and celebrated authors of non-fiction for young readers, has compiled a beautiful tribute. In an accessible "scrapbook" style, more than one hundred photos, paintings, and documents are displayed to help create an intimate portrait of a true hero. Readers will learn about his life as a doctor and teacher of medicine, about his tour of duty in the Boer War, and of course, about his service in WWI, where he experienced a loss so profound it moved him to write "In Flanders Fields."
WINNER OF THE THWAITES WAINWRIGHT PRIZE 2015 What really goes on in the long grass? Meadowland gives an unique and intimate account of an English meadowâe(tm)s life from January to December, together with its biography. In exquisite prose, John Lewis-Stempel records the passage of the seasons from cowslips in spring to the hay-cutting of summer and grazing in autumn, and includes the biographies of the animals that inhabit the grass and the soil beneath: the badger clan, the fox family, the rabbit warren,the skylark brood and the curlew pair, among others. Their births, lives, and deaths are stories that thread through the book from first page to last.
“Breathtaking. I read this and wished I’d written it.”—Val McDermid Belinda Bauer is a phenomenal voice in British crime fiction, whose work has won the CWA’s Gold Dagger Award for Crime Novel of the Year and garnered rave reviews on both sides of the Atlantic. Winner of the 2014 Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award, Rubbernecker is a gripping thriller about a medical student who begins to suspect that something strange is going on in this cadaver lab. “The dead can’t speak to us,” Professor Madoc had said. But that was a lie. The body Patrick Fort is examining in anatomy class is trying to tell him all kinds of things. But no one hears what he does, and no one understand when he tries to tell them. Life is already strange enough for Patrick—being a medical student with Asperger’s Syndrome doesn't come without its challenges. And that’s before he is faced with solving a possible murder, especially when no one believes a crime has even taken place. Now he must stay out of danger long enough to unravel the mystery. But as Patrick learns one truth from a dead man, he discovers there have been many other lies closer to home. A can’t-put-it-down page-turner from one of the finest voices in UK crime, Rubbernecker puts Belinda Bauer firmly on the map of world-class crime writers. “An intelligent, disturbing read.”—The Guardian (UK)
The Sunday Times Bestseller. Winner of the Thwaites Wainwright Prize 2015. BBC Radio 4's 'Book of the Week' Traditional ploughland is disappearing. Seven cornfield flowers have become extinct in the last twenty years. Once abundant, the corn bunting and the lapwing are on the Red List. The corncrake is all but extinct in England. And the hare is running for its life. Written in exquisite prose, The Running Hare tells the story of the wild animals and plants that live in and under our ploughland, from the labouring microbes to the patrolling kestrel above the corn, from the linnet pecking at seeds to the seven-spot ladybird that eats the aphids that eat the crop. It recalls an era before open-roofed factories and silent, empty fields, recording the ongoing destruction of the unique, fragile, glorious ploughland that exists just down the village lane. But it is also the story of ploughland through the eyes of man who took on a field and husbanded it in a natural, traditional way, restoring its fertility and wildlife, bringing back the old farmland flowers and animals. John Lewis Stempel demonstrates that it is still possible to create a place where the hare can rest safe.
THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER by 'Indisputably, one of the best nature-writers of his generation' (Country Life) BBC Radio 4 'Book of the Week' Written in diary format, The Wood is the story of English woodlands as they change with the seasons. Lyrical and informative, steeped in poetry and folklore, The Wood inhabits the mind and touches the soul. For four years John Lewis-Stempel managed Cockshutt wood, a particular wood - three and half acres of mixed woodland in south west Herefordshire - that stands as exemplar for all the small woods of England. John coppiced the trees and raised cows and pigs who roamed free there. This is the diary of the last year, by which time he had come to know it from the bottom of its beech roots to the tip of its oaks, and to know all the animals that lived there - the fox, the pheasants, the wood mice, the tawny owl - and where the best bluebells grew. For many fauna and flora, woods like Cockshutt are the last refuge. It proves a sanctuary for John too. To read The Wood is to be amongst its trees as the seasons change, following an easy path until, suddenly the view is broken by a screen of leaves, or your foot catches on a root, or a bird startles overhead. This is a wood you will never want to leave.
Sea of Poppies is a stunningly vibrant and intensely human work that confirms Amitav Ghosh's reputation as a master storyteller. At the heart of this epic saga is a vast ship, the Ibis. Its destiny is a tumultuous voyage across the Indian Ocean to the Mauritius Islands. As to the people on board, they are a motley array of sailors and stowaways, coolies and convicts. In a time of colonial upheaval in the mid-nineteenth century, fate has thrown together a truly diverse cast of Indians and Westerners, from a bankrupt Raja to a widowed village-woman, from a mulatto American freedman to a free-spirited European orphan. As they sail down the Hooghly and into the sea, their old family ties are washed away, and they view themselves as jahaj-bhais, or ship-brothers, who will build whole new lives for themselves in the remote islands where they are being taken. It is the beginning of an unlikely dynasty.
The Short and Gallant Life of the British Officer in the First World War
Author: John Lewis-Stempel
Category: World War, 1914-1918
During the Great War, many boys went straight from the classroom to the most dangerous job in the world - that of junior officer on the Western Front. Although desperately aware of how many of their predecessors had fallen before them, nearly all stepped forward, unflinchingly, to do their duty. The average life expectancy of a subaltern in the trenches was a mere six weeks. In this remarkable book, John Lewis-Stempel focuses on the forgotten men who truly won Britain's victory in the First World War - the subalterns, lieutenants and captains of the Army, the leaders in the trenches, the first 'over the top', the last to retreat. Basing his narrative on a huge range of first-person accounts, including the poignant letters and diaries sent home or to their old schools, the author reveals what motivated these boy-men to act in such an extraordinary, heroic way. He describes their brief, brilliant lives in and out of the trenches, the tireless ways they cared for their men, and how they tried to behave with honour in a world where their values and codes were quite literally being shot to pieces.
Shortlisted for THE WAINWRIGHT BOOK PRIZE 2017 'This story - so fierce and brave and visceral and raw - will stay with me forever. Clover Stroud is a force of nature, and a woman who is fearless in the face of life and death. I loved it.' Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love 'There is so much richly evoked life here... beautifully written.' Cathy Rentzenbrink, The Times 'This redemptive memoir will steal your heart; it will return it bruised but emboldened.' Mail on Sunday 'Beautifully written...I love this book.' India Knight 'Compelling and candid, deftly weaving together past and present... a heart-wrenching story told in haunting, lyrical prose.' Tatler 'I have huge admiration for the spirit of this memoir, and its author: full of heart, bravery and adventure. A moving, gripping read.' Amy Liptrot, author of The Outrun Clover Stroud's idyllic childhood in rural England was shattered when a horrific riding accident left her mother permanently brain-damaged. Just sixteen, she embarked on a journey to find the sense of home that had been so savagely broken. Travelling from gypsy camps in Ireland, to the rodeos of west Texas and then to Russia's war-torn Caucasus, Clover eventually found her way back to England's lyrical Vale of the White Horse. The Wild Other is a grippingly honest account of love, loss, family and the healing strength of nature. Powerful and deeply emotional, this is the story of an extraordinary life lived at its fullest.
One woman – two loves . . . - Dorset, 1917. If it's not enough that a girl from a good background is forced to work as a maid, Livia Carr is then violated by her master and falls pregnant. But help unexpectedly comes from her attacker’s son, Richard, a WWI hero who is not expected to live much longer. He marries her, and his death, though expected, comes as a great blow. Into the breach steps Livia's first love, Denton Elliott - but he does not know the truth about her child's parentage . . .
More than eight million young men perished during the First World War--a staggering figure. The natural reaction to such a great loss of humanity was to forget the individuals and recast the conflict into one of faceless armies and battles commemorated in stone and metal monuments. War Letters of Fallen Englishmen was published following the war in order to remind the living of those who were lost in the name of the British crown--brothers, husbands, fathers, sons. This collection provides, in the very words of those who participated and died in combat, the closest approximation possible to the experience of war. Carefully selected from thousands of letters, those in this collection are poignant, powerful, and graphic and were chosen for their depth of perception, the intensity of their descriptions, and their messages to future generations. This edition contains a new foreword by the distinguished World War I historian Jay Winter.
A History of Conflict, Loss, Remembrance, and Redemption
Author: Nicholas J. Saunders
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
The definitive history of the ever-enduring icon In the aftermath of the horrific trench warfare of the First World War, the poppy – sprouting across the killing fields of France and Belgium, then immortalized in John McCrae’s moving poem – became a worldwide icon. Yet the poppy has a longer history, as the tell-tale sign of human cultivation of the land, of the ravages of war, and of the desire to escape the earthly realm through opium dreams or morphine drips. From the ancient Egyptian fights over prized potions to the addicts of the American Civil War, to the British entanglements in the Opium Wars with China and the struggle to end Afghanistan’s tribal narcotics trade, there is the poppy.