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The Poppy: A History of Conflict, Loss, Remembrance, and Redemption [Kindle Edition]

Nicholas J. Saunders
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £9.99
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Book Description

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 Romantic opium dreams or the grim reality of morphine drips. This is a story spanning 3,000 summers, from the Ancient Egyptian fights over prized medicinal potions to the addicted veterans turning home from the American Civil War, from the British political machinations during the Opium Wars with China to the struggle to end Afghanistan’s tribal narcotics trade. Through it all, there is the transformative poppy.

Now, Nicholas J. Saunders shares the definitive history of this ever-enduring symbolic flower.


Product Description

Review

‘Saunders movingly presents the poppy in its beauty, its tragedy and its healing power as a potent symbol every year in our national and global remembrance of loss.’ 

(Saga magazine)

Review

'Saunders movingly presents the poppy in its beauty, its tragedy and its healing power as a potent symbol every year in our national and global remembrance of loss.' Saga Magazine

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2468 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Oneworld Publications (1 Oct. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00FH1RWUS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #181,123 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic read 13 Nov. 2013
By Matt
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Detailed, well written and expertly researched, Dr Nicholas J Saunders reveals how for thousands of years the poppy in its various forms has been heralded as a symbol of remembrance, a method of escapism and a tool of oppression. So intimately linked with the trenches of the Great War, Saunders shows how the poppy's history goes far beyond the killing fields of the Western Front. For millennia mankind has shared a complex and intimate relationship with this most social of flowers and here we learn the roles it has played in Empire building, the oppression of entire cultures and the waging of modern warfare. From Ancient Egypt to Helen of Troy, and the killing fields of the First World War to the bloody valleys of modern-day Afghanistan, this book highlights the power of the poppy to shape our world. An excellent book that is destined to change the way this crimson bloom is viewed, exposing how its raw power has influenced all our lives. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Pain of Killing and the Killing of Pain 12 Feb. 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A timely reminder, lest we forget, that this year marks the 100th anniversary of the start of WW1. The Remembrance Day Poppy has become the most recognizable symbol of that war and many conflicts since. Inspired by John McCrae's poem 'In Flanders' Fields' and made manifest through the crusading zeal of two women, Anna Guerin and Moina Michael before being taken up by the British Legion, this study shows that the poppy as a memorial flower goes back at least 6,000 years. The association is due in large part to the conflation of the Corn Poppy with the Opium Poppy and this book is a very readable account of the history of both. Human folly seems to have been inextricably linked to these plants for millennia and Saunders acts as an enlightened guide to our need to remember and our desire to forget which brings us, with exquisite irony, from the hell of Helmand to Gardening Leave in Auchincruive.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars very good read 30 Jan. 2014
By rod
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
this is a book that at first glance might seem to be only of interest to botanists but it is a really interesting and enlightening read. The poppy is just a flower to most people but I will never look at it in the same way, a well written and very interesting throughout.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Heartache 3 May 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book kept me enthral led from the first page to the last. When I purchased the book it was not what I expected. Every one should read it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting.! 19 April 2014
By maisie
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very interesting and makes you realise that, although the poppy is a beautiful flower, it is also the flower of misery and death. Two sides of the same coin really!! A brave subject to tackle and has been tackled very well in this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The poppy 7 April 2014
By bookmag
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
What a fab book, gives an insight into the essence of the poppy as a symbol and why we feel they way we do about it
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4.0 out of 5 stars interesting facts 17 Mar. 2014
By Dot H
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
learned so much about the poppy and how it came to be chosen as symbol of remembrance and how it is linked to opium poppy
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5.0 out of 5 stars This book was great. 12 Mar. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
My husband read this book and learnt a lot about the poppy going back generations was most
Intrigued with the different ways it was used and being in the Army brought back some fine memories .
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