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Meadowland: the private life of an English…
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Meadowland: the private life of an English field (udgave 2001)

af Howard Hughes (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
1687125,344 (4.09)10
What really goes on in the long grass? Meadowland gives an unique and intimate account of an English meadow's life from January to December, together with its biography. In exquisite prose, John Lewis-Stempel records the passage of the seasons from cowslips in spring to the hay-cutting of summer and grazing in autumn, and includes the biographies of the animals that inhabit the grass and the soil beneath: the badger clan, the fox family, the rabbit warren, the skylark brood and the curlew pair, among others. Their births, lives, and deaths are stories that thread through the book from first page to last. In Meadowland Lewis-Stempel does for meadows what Roger Deakin did for woodland and rivers in his bestselling books Wildwood and Waterlog.… (mere)
Medlem:hermionecaroline
Titel:Meadowland: the private life of an English field
Forfattere:Howard Hughes (Forfatter)
Info:BLACK SWAN (2001)
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:Ingen

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Meadowland: the private life of an English field af John Lewis-Stempel

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Meadowland: the private life of an English field by John Lewis-Stempel  
I am English and I read once that patriotism is a love of the land of your birth and is not to be confused with nationalism.  
 
Given that it appears to be purely random where we are born I have always found it odd that some people become inordinately proud of something that they had absolutely no hand in. To me it is like saying “I am proud to have knees”.
 
So I came to this book with a wary eye to say the least. That subsequently proved to be completely unnecessary. This is a book about England, not the political thing called England nor the social thing called England but the England that is in the soil and the hedgerows and the birdsong. This entire book is one long soliloquy to the English Countryside.
 
This is a book about birds, butterflies, insects, animals, trees, seasons, sun, rain and much, much more. It follows the life of a field and all that it contains for one entire year.
 
Like all great stories it has lots of sex, love, murder and intrigue but none of it involves humans. And therein lies its charm. There is no-one to like, love or hate. There is nothing between the land and the reader. The storyteller, by some magic, manages to disappear himself almost entirely doing that wonderful service of telling a great story without getting in the way.
 
This would have to be one of the best books I have read in a long time, but maybe it only works if you are English? ( )
  Ken-Me-Old-Mate | Sep 24, 2020 |
It just looks like a regular field. It has a hedge around it, and it is full of grass with some muddy patches near the feeding troughs and the gate.

And you would think that is it. But it isn’t, trust me on this, it really isn’t. This field is teeming with life.

There are the red kites feasting on wild and domesticated animals, the badgers that patrol the field, the playful fox cubs, the hidden moles, visible only from their mounds, that try and consume the thousands of earthworms that populate the soil and the beasts that he rears for market. But the star of this book is the grasses and plants that populate his field, and the insect and bird life it supports. Where he is in Hereford, it is fortunate that it has not suffered from the effects of the industrial farming process that other parts of the country have, and the diversity of the wildlife in his field is greater than it would be elsewhere. But his land has not been immune to change; there have been some losses, such as the corncrake, and there are no doubt others.

Through his lyrical and occasionally poetic prose, Lewis-Stempel really brings his unspoilt small patch of England into crystal clear focus. Written as diary entries through a single year, he writes about other events and local characters that orbit and swirl though his life, about the history of the lands around, as well as the weather, a hugely important factor for any farmer. He has an eye for detail too; this book is full of the minutiae of the things happening in this field, from the differences and textures of the grasses to the way that everything is interdependent and reliant on each other all the way up and down the food chain. He uses the phrase, "a lawn is a meadow in captivity,” which is a perfect way of summing up the difference between a natural environment left to its own devices, and finds a balance, and that which is controlled and suppressed, and is deficient in so much life.

Lewis-Stempel’s passion for this land, his land is apparent all the way through the book. If you want to understand just how complex a simple meadow actually is, this is well worth reading. ( )
  PDCRead | Apr 6, 2020 |
A great read. ( )
  Roarer | Nov 19, 2019 |
Was ein wunderbares Buch. Der Autor beschreibt ein Jahr lang alles, was sich auf einer Wiese so tut. Alle Tiere, Pflanzen, das Wetter und bettet das ganze in viel wissenswertes rund um dieses Stück Land,Geschichte, Botanik, Lyrik und allerlei. Dabei ist der Autor sehr empathisch.
Wahrscheinlich ist es eine Idealwiese, mit feuchten und trockenen Teilen, einem Bach und Heckensäumen und Baumrändern. Das hat meinem Lesevergnügen aber keinen Abbruch getan. ( )
  Patkue | Mar 19, 2019 |
Rich in history, botany, biology, ecology, literature, and folklore, MEADOWLAND begins as a book you want to settle deeply into to make your own personal connections.
Mine was with a scythe.

Unfortunately, the author also chooses, for no apparent reason, to hunt many of the animals he otherwise has kindly observed and described with care and, at times, love and loyalty.
He also pointlessly recounts in detail the deaths of many animals, like the newborn mare, the crushed frogs he could have driven around,
the cow that died because he refused to call a vet in the winter...and so many more.

Stories of nature and seasons are sometimes fascinating; other times too precious. ( )
  m.belljackson | Jan 5, 2019 |
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What really goes on in the long grass? Meadowland gives an unique and intimate account of an English meadow's life from January to December, together with its biography. In exquisite prose, John Lewis-Stempel records the passage of the seasons from cowslips in spring to the hay-cutting of summer and grazing in autumn, and includes the biographies of the animals that inhabit the grass and the soil beneath: the badger clan, the fox family, the rabbit warren, the skylark brood and the curlew pair, among others. Their births, lives, and deaths are stories that thread through the book from first page to last. In Meadowland Lewis-Stempel does for meadows what Roger Deakin did for woodland and rivers in his bestselling books Wildwood and Waterlog.

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