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English Pastoral: An Inheritance [9780241245729]

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** Winner of the Wainwright Prize for UK Nature Writing 2021 **

The author of the beloved No.1 bestseller The Shepherd's Life returns with a stirring history of family, loss and the land over three generations on a Lake District farm

'I can't imagine anyone starting to read English Pastoral and not being eager to read it all at once, as I did, and not being moved by the life and the landscape Rebanks describes so well. I was thrilled by it' Philip Pullman

As a boy, James Rebanks's grandfather taught him to work the land the old way. Their family farm in the Lake District hills was part of an ancient agricultural landscape: a patchwork of crops and meadows, of pastures grazed with livestock, and hedgerows teeming with wildlife. And yet, by the time James inherited the farm, it was barely recognisable. The men and women had vanished from the fields; the old stone barns had crumbled; the skies had emptied of birds and their wind-blown song.

English Pastoral is the story of an inheritance: one that affects us all. It tells of how rural landscapes around the world were brought close to collapse, and the age-old rhythms of work, weather, community and wild things were lost. And yet this elegy from the northern fells is also a song of hope: of how, guided by the past, one farmer began to salvage a tiny corner of England that was now his, doing his best to restore the life that had vanished and to leave a legacy for the future.

This is a book about what it means to have love and pride in a place, and how, against all the odds, it may still be possible to build a new pastoral: not a utopia, but somewhere decent for us all.

AUTHOR: James Rebanks is a farmer based in the Lake District, where his family have lived and worked for over six hundred years. His No.1 bestselling debut, The Shepherd's Life, won the Lake District Book of the Year, was shortlisted for the Wainwright and Ondaatje prizes, and has been translated into sixteen languages.

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James Rebanks
Allen Lane
416 Grams
  • 5
    English Pastoral

    Posted by Sandra on 2nd Jul 2021

    A very good book it brought back many happy memories of my early farming days which were the best times ever, highly recommended

  • 5
    Excellent book and service from company

    Posted by Natasha on 3rd Jan 2021

    Bought this for my Dad as he loved "The Shepherd's Life" written by the same author. He finished the book in two days.

    I had heard about this company from The Tree Council as the author was doing a free Zoom webinar. This company was easy to buy from (added plus of free delivery as I dislike not knowing the total cost until the end when doing a transaction), quick delivery and friendly customer service with a fast response as I had to e-mail them about a request.

    I would definitely recommend this book (Rebanks' first book doesn't need to be read first) and buying from this company.

  • 5
    English Pastoral

    Posted by Phil2hoots on 1st Jan 2021

    A beautifully written book by an author who has lived his subject with a knowledge of the history of the farming landscape and the changes that time has slowly wrought. Farmers are rarely as erudite as James and he has an obvious empathy and understanding of his fellow hill men and women and the ability to express what many of them must feel. Buffeted by farming policies that don’t have their best interests at heart, but which they do their best with has led to a gradual almost imperceptible degradation of the landscape of which they are the ultimate custodians. But this is not a gloomy book. Although there’s sadness at what has been lost it doesn’t overshadow a positive blueprint for the future which James is putting into practice. An excellent and timely read.

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