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The Seasons: An Elegy for the Passing of the Year [Hardcover]

Nick Groom
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
RRP: 22.00
Price: 17.60 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

21 Nov 2013
For millennia, the passing seasons and their rhythms have marked our progress through the year. But what do they mean to us now that we lead increasingly atomised and urban lives and our weather becomes ever more unpredictable or extreme? Will it matter if we no longer hear, even notice, the first cuckoo call of spring or rejoice in the mellow fruits of harvest festival? How much will we lose if we can no longer find either refuge or reassurance in the greater natural - and meteorological - scheme of things? Nick Groom's splendidly rich and encyclopaedic book is an unabashed celebration of the English seasons and the trove of strange folklore and often stranger fact they have accumulated over the centuries. Each season and its particular history are given their full due, and these chapters are interwoven with others on the calendar and how the year and months have come to be measured, on important dates and festivals such as Easter, May Day and, of course, Christmas, on that defining first cuckoo call, on national attitudes to weather, our seasonal relationship with the land and horticulture and much more. The author expresses the hope that his book will not prove an elegy: only time will tell.

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The Seasons: An Elegy for the Passing of the Year + England in Particular: A Celebration of the Commonplace, the Local, the Vernacular and the Distinctive + The English Year
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Books (21 Nov 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848871619
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848871618
  • Product Dimensions: 21.2 x 15.6 x 4.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 30,533 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Groom's enthusiasm is hard to resist, and his garnering of folklore and customs that, for centuries, guided life through the changing seasons bulges with fascination. --John Carey, Sunday Times

Wonderful and timely --Philip Hoare, Independent

It's no exaggeration to say that this is a volume I have been waiting for all my life... I love Nick Groom's passionate plea for us to be aware of traditional connections between human lives, the seasons and the natural world. He provides a cornucopia of knowledge, and an inspirational call to awareness... This is a rich celebration of traditions and a plea for them not to be forgotten. --Bel Mooney, Daily Mail

Beguiling... Unexpectedly fascinating --Spectator

If you want to learn about the political, religious and aesthetic imperatives that have shaped the calendar, and consider how we can remain connected to them, then you'll find The Seasons stimulating. It offers far more than trivia and contains details that demand to be shared. --Max Liu, Independent

A heartfelt exploration of the connections between the seasons and England's traditions and folklore brims with fascinating revelations. --Readers Digest

About the Author

Nick Groom is Professor in English at Exeter University and Director, Centre for Literatures of Identity and Place. He is married with two daughters and lives in Devon.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The seasons 9 Jan 2014
By robbo
Format:Kindle Edition
This is not a book to be read lightly. It is a very interesting almost academic work but has the redeeming feature that many of the quotes can be passed by without losing the thread of the book. A great argument for
a distinctive Englishness. A good read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read 31 Jan 2014
By L
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A great book full of interesting facts and stories. I would recommend the book especially for those interested in English traditions
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3 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good 12 Feb 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
There were no instructions with this so an elderly might have had difficulty. Otherwise good value for money and suitable for purpose
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