- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: Elliott & Thompson Limited (19 May 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1783962445
- ISBN-13: 978-1783962440
- Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.3 x 19.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 144,718 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- See Complete Table of Contents
Summer: An Anthology for the Changing Seasons Paperback – 19 May 2016
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"A remarkable anthology of abundance capturing both the physical wonders and the psychological enchantments of this glorious season, this book conjures summer in the senses as potently as a field of freshly cut hay. Featuring some of the greatest writers on landscape as well as fantastic new voices, it is a collection that will trigger the memory, evoke new places and people, and help you see afresh the preciousness and precariousness of our natural world." -- Rob Cowen, author of Common Ground
"Lavishly capturing the nature of the season in all its slow, sensual splendour, Summer is a potent reminder of the riches that surround us, and a poignant evocation of all that we cannot bear to lose" -- Sharon Blackie, author of If Women Rose Rooted and editor of Earthlines
"A delightful miscellany of reflections on that loveliest of seasons, summer - packed with insights and encounters with nature from a wide range of authors from Gilbert White and George Eliot to a bevy of young contemporary naturalists" -- Stephen Moss, author of Wild Hares and Hummingbirds and Wild Kingdom: Bringing Back Britain's Wildlife
"[A] delicious antidote … a summer collection to wake up a tired imagination, like sunshine warming a plant to coax it into opening." -- Richard Littledale, blogger
"A lovely jewel of a book … wherever you land in the text, there will be something of interest and it won't disappoint. Beautifully observed … a book to treasure" -- jaffareadstoo.blogspot.co.uk
"Gorgeous … The kind of book the reader can joyfully dip in and out of discovering a wealth of voices from past and present. Melissa Harrison has beautifully captured the various aspects of Britain in summer" -- Ali Hope, heavenali.wordpress.com
"I've been dipping in and out of this beautiful anthology for some time but didn't want to post a review until I had read every entry. There are poems, extracts and essays spanning several centuries, so that there is something for every reader in this celebration of the season ... There's a beauty to this book - from the glorious cover to the simple illustrations like that of the swallow that adorn the inside pages. The writings are all evocative, enlightening, entertaining or thought provoking ... I shall treasure it and return to it again and again ... A perfect gift for any lover of words or nature." -- Linda's Book Bag blog
"This book will convince you that summertime is where we truly belong - not through overindulgence in nostalgia, but through realisation of our core values and roots. It will take you home" --Matthew Oates, author of In Pursuit of Butterflies: A Fifty-year Affair
"There are so many lovely things that I could pull out from this book … I know that I will enjoy revisiting this beautifully produced anthology" --Beyondedenrock.com
"Taken together, these pieces truly give the feeling of an English summer. The older writing is remarkably undated, which contributes to a sense of continuity across the centuries ... These are really rather lovely books. Summer is a perfect bedside companion to dip into as the days warm up. Impossible not to covet the whole four-season set." --BookishBeck blog
About the Author
Melissa Harrison is a writer and nature lover whose first novel Clay (2013) won the Portsmouth First Fiction prize, was selected for Amazon's 'Rising Stars' programme and named by Ali Smith as a book of the year. Her second, At Hawthorn Time (2015), was shortlisted for the Costa Best Novel Award and chosen by the Telegraph as one of their Books of the Year; both books are as much about the natural world as they are about people. She writes the Nature Notebook in The Times and regularly speaks about conservation, literature, and the very fertile ground between the two.
Wherever you are there is a Wildlife Trust caring for wildlife and wild places near you. There are 47 Wildlife Trusts covering the UK all working for an environment rich in wildlife for everyone - on land and at sea. Together The Wildlife Trusts give millions of people the chance to connect with nature. You can support our work by joining your Wildlife Trust wildlifetrusts.org/join.
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Top Customer Reviews
I might be biased as my favourite author, Thomas Hardy, is featured a couple of times as are other well known classical writers like George Elliott and Charles Dickens (with a piece I hadn’t previously read to my shame) as well as more modern writers like Benjamin Zephaniah, but I thought the eclectic mix of pieces was glorious.
However, I think the passages I enjoyed most were from writers I haven’t encountered before. I loved In An August Garden by Alison Brackenbury as she explores where those enormous spiders that appear at the end of summer actually come from. I found Jacqueline Bain’s piece on ‘the black, the drab and the furtive’ illustrated a side to summer we seldom consider. I hadn’t though about a stag farting either, but the 13th century anonymous piece means I’ll never look at deer in quite the same way again!
There’s a beauty to this book – from the glorious cover to the simple illustrations like that of the swallow that adorn the inside pages. The writings are all evocative, enlightening, entertaining or thought provoking. It was a relief to find Timothy, Reverend Gilbert White’s tortoise, had gained weight in the year since 1775 and I found Janet Willoner’s piece about the otter read like the most beautiful poetry even though it’s a prose piece.
Now I’ve read all the elements in this lovely book, I shall treasure it and return to it again and again in the future because, to steal from Jan Freedman’s quoting of David Attenborough, this book affords ‘an innate pleasure and delight and interest and curiosity in the natural world’.
It's a lovely jewel of a book that will sit quite comfortably on a book shelf and which can be opened at whim and quite simply ,wherever you land in the text, there will be something of interest and it won’t disappoint.
If you have ever walked through a wheat field in summer, well, this snippet, written by Nicola Chester, 2016, caught my eye “…and the wheat field crackles and pops like a bowl of cereal as it ripens in the sun...” ..
Beautifully observed and with such a delicious combination of short stories, this is a book to treasure and at the same time support a really good cause.
I love how the classics mingle with modern day writings in this collection; you quickly switch from reading classics like Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee to modern day writings of stars, butterflies and bees. Each passage reminds us of lazy summer days with beautiful butterflies flitting between flowers and drunken bees weighed down with pollen. Perhaps bees really were the origin of fairies, for what is more magical than seeing these little furry creatures buzzing around our garden? It is almost unbelievable to think that one day bees might become extinct, then fairies really will be a thing of myth and legend.
Published in conjunction with The Wildlife Trusts, the sale of each anthology helps to raise funds for trusts throughout the UK. The amazing cover of Summer perfectly captures the essence of the season and no stone is left unturned as each passage describes this most longed for season.
I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.