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  • Barbara Copperthwaite

Review: MEADOWLAND, by John Lewis-Stempel


“Vividly described and wonderfully written. A book to fall in love with.”

Some writing is so beautiful that I am gripped with an urge to read sections out loud, just so that I can hear the jewel-like words as well as see them, somehow maximizing the pleasure and sharing the joy with others. This is one such book. Vividly described, and wonderfully written, Meadowland gives a unique and intimate account of an English meadow’s life from January to December.

John Lewis-Stempel’s passionate love for his land comes through as he describes the passage of the seasons from cowslips in spring to the hay-cutting of summer and grazing in autumn. Through his affinity with nature we get to know the badger clan, the fox family, the rabbit warren, the skylark brood and the curlew pair, among others. We fall in love ourselves with the rustling grasses and winter-rattling leaves.

This is no flowery, romanticised ode to nature though, it is steeped in the harsh realities of life and death in the wild – and is all the more evocative and touching for it. This is a book to fall in love with and read again and again and again.

'MEADOWLAND: THE PRIVATE LIFE OF AN ENGLISH FIELD' AND FIVE OTHER NATURE-INSPIRED BOOKS ARE BEING GIVEN AWAY ON MY WILDLIFE SITE WWW.GOBEWILD.CO.UK VISIT THERE FOR MORE DETAILS.


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