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The Poppy: A Cultural History from Ancient Egypt to Flanders Fields to Afghanistan Hardcover – 17 Oct 2013


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The Poppy: A Cultural History from Ancient Egypt to Flanders Fields to Afghanistan + Empires of the Dead: How One Man's Vision Led to the Creation of WW1's War Graves
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Oneworld Publications; 1st Edition edition (17 Oct. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 185168705X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1851687053
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16.3 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 343,477 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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 --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Matt on 13 Nov. 2013
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 By Mytwopennorth on 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 By rod on 30 Jan. 2014
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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By Mavis Thurston on 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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By maisie on 19 April 2014
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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By bookmag on 7 April 2014
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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By Dot H on 17 Mar. 2014
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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By Bookworm on 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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