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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best read in a long time....
The most beautifully written book I have read in a long time. I could not put it down. If you love the countryside and wildlife you will love this book. I was so wrapped up in reading the winter chapters on the train last night that the warmth of the air as I got off the train took me completely by surprise - totally transported to cold, but beautiful Herefordshire fields...
Published 6 months ago by Rachael Barber

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18 of 54 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars not for us
I have made use of the opportunity, provided by this site, to read the first few pages of the book. My first impression was that it was going to deliver all that it promised. That the author was going to make me share in his love of nature and in his joy in its splendour. He brings us intot the field, he describes the delicate atmosphere of a silent late winterafternoon...
Published 6 months ago by hans molenaar


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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best read in a long time...., 30 May 2014
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The most beautifully written book I have read in a long time. I could not put it down. If you love the countryside and wildlife you will love this book. I was so wrapped up in reading the winter chapters on the train last night that the warmth of the air as I got off the train took me completely by surprise - totally transported to cold, but beautiful Herefordshire fields and hedgerows. And to reassure vegetarians - this is a love affair with nature, not all about shooting things - if it was I wouldn't have got past the first few pages either.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Elegy in an English Field, 9 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Meadowland: the private life of an English field (Kindle Edition)
The structure is simple - a 12 month diary of a 40acre English meadowland, starting in a bitter January. After the 12 months are pondered and described, there are itemised lists of all the flora and fauna described, storied and mused on. Read it alone to find out about bugles, bush vetch, quaking grass and stichwort. And odd little stories of curlews, gall wasps, red kites and springtails. Nature is leaned into, respected, even loved at moments, but Lewis-Stempel stays cool and well-read throughout, balancing the force and severity of the natural beats with his English detachment. It is a calm yet emotional read, and should make us all stop for a moment, or longer, to ponder how much we are removed from the vital world around us. Lewis-Stempel would never say so, but I sense he believes this is an important book. He has certainly put soul and much heart into this arresting and melancholic work.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars See your world in a different light., 1 July 2014
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This may be stating the obvious but we are surrounded by fields and, probably, never even notice them. They are taken totally for granted. We look at buildings and immediately there are clues to their age. But a field? A field is just a field isn't it? Well, no it isn't and in this bookJoun Lewis-Stempel draws you, almost seductively into his world. A world of beauty and casual violence, but a world that is teeming with life.
His love for the land, and it's citizens, shines out from every page, as does a genuine understanding of nature's annual cycle. The book is written as a diary but whether your interest is in ornithology, botany, biology, agriculture or just a desire to learn more about your surroundings, this book is a page turner. If you enjoy walking, and wish to know more about the land you are walking through, this book is a 'must read'.
Meadowland is true to its title, it isn't about impressive scenery, it is about a meadow. But the author succeeds in making that simple field, simply, impressive. By the end of the book, the reader is left with the feeling that this has been a really worthwhile journey to have taken.A journey through the, apparently, but far from, ordinary. A thoroughly recommended read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a delight, 28 Jun 2014
This account of a meadow and its inhabitants throughout the year is exquisitely written with allusions to various poems and writings by others. The prose is spare and lyrical. The writer is full of respect and love for the grasses, flowers, trees and creatures of the meadow, from cows and sheep to buzzards, dung beetles and badgers. One review warned, Vegetarians beware. Well, I've been a veggie for 30 years, woman and girl, and found nothing offensive here.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing, 18 Jun 2014
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Kiwi (Surrey, UK) - See all my reviews
Marvellous. Lewis-Stempel writes of his month-by-month observations of nature at work in a few acres of his Hereford farm.

I'm left in awe of the following: firstly, the quite astonishing range of flora and fauna thus seemngly-simple exercise encompasses (the list of same at the book's end runs to five pages), all under our eyes but largely never seen (or more accurately, never noticed). Second, the amazing powers of Lewis-Stempel's observation; his, compared to most of us, is x-ray vision - he can even find interesting things to see in the digging of a post-hole. A man to be envied, totally engaged with an intricate eco-system by the simple expedient of using his eyes.

A simple concept, an absorbing read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful, Interesting and informative read, thoroughly enjoyable!, 9 Sep 2014
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By Karen Blyth

A beautifully written book, with so much detail, it was a pleasure to read. So interesting and informative, I loved every minute of it, and found it a very relaxing bedtime read! It makes one appreciate the countryside and see it in a new, wonderful light!

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone with a love of the country and those who are city lovers will no longer be after reading this book!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful read., 22 Jun 2014
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Stunning. For anyone who wonders what we might be losing in the modern world, and where we might still find it, this book is a spectacular read. Beautiful. Poetic. Loving. Honest.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb and minutely-observed account, 10 Jun 2014
By 
N. K. Jennings (Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Meadowland: the private life of an English field (Kindle Edition)
This is a book to attract superlative-ridden reviews for it is beautifully written. An account of 12 months in the life of an English hay meadow might not sound the most promising material but John Lewis-Stempel transports us into that field so convincingly that we can feel the changing seasons, see and hear the wildlife, and gain an intimate understanding of every rustle in the undergrowth. The author's command of prose is masterful.

The book is structured into 12 monthly chapters plus other material. Reading on Kindle it is easy to start and stop at will, but I was increasingly driven to read in conventional chapter-length sessions as each told a distinct story about that part of the season. The concluding lists of flora and fauna are interesting, but the author's natural history bibliography is invaluable.

I heartily recommend this book to anyone who wishes to improve their appreciation of the English countryside, whether that be so just to enjoy it better, or as a student of the natural environment you seek a deeper understanding of the management of that priceless yet diminishing resource, the English meadow.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is a beautifully written book, 11 Aug 2014
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This is a beautifully written book. As an "exile" now living in Australia, it brought back memories of home. I read it in a couple of days, then posted it back to England so that my sister there could enjoy it too, so it's a much-travelled volume. As someone who lives in a country village and loves walking in the countryside, she got as much pleasure from it as I did, and has recommended it to her book group.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Reminder of What Really Matters, 2 Dec 2014
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This review is from: Meadowland: the private life of an English field (Kindle Edition)
The exact perfect book to read when you've lost perspective in life. Lewis-Stempel's writing is precise, immediate and beautiful, describing a world that turns whether we've paid the mortgage or not.

I read it on a train, on the way to a meeting that would change my life. I couldn't have arrived in a better frame of mind, and I can't recommend Meadowland more. Loved it.
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