Sunday book review – Spring edited by Melissa Harrison

51Oba2qDNIL

A collection of writings about spring – what could be nicer?

This book is one of four on the seasons.  Are there really four seasons, I wonder? I’m not totally sure that summer exists – doesn’t spring (March-June) just fade into autumn (July- December) and then there is a bit of winter (January and February), with some leeway at each transition and false starts, false finishes and just odd weather?  But I do believe in spring – and spring is wonderful.

In this book, published enterprisingly by The Wildlife Trusts, there is, rather cleverly I thought, a mixture of writings from the old (or mostly dead) and famous, and the very much alive. This means that there are some old favourites, Thomas Hardy, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Gilbert White, Robert Browning, Jane Austen and many others but not necessarily with the extracts that you might expect or remember, but also writings from those you have never heard of (though to be honest – I do know some of them!).

I liked this approach, and found myself enjoying the modern, unread, new pieces just as much as (actually, often more than!)  the older pieces by the famous. I’m not sure why, but it might partly be because the modern writings were more specific, better informed and more often about species than about ‘spring’ itself.  There is no reason why your favourites should be anything like mine, but for what it’s worth, my favourite ‘new’ was by Nicola Chester and my favourite ‘old’ was probably that from Mansfield Park (Jane Austen) which I have to confess I have never read, so it was new to me.

I’d have liked a bit more poetry.

I’ll look forward to the next three volumes, even though summer doesn’t really exist (I wonder whether June, July and August will convince me that I am wrong this year), but none can match spring for excitement and beauty, but we’ll see if they can for writing.

Spring: an anthology for the changing seasons, edited by Melissa Harrison, is published by The Wildlife Trusts.

 

Inglorious: conflict in the uplands by Mark Avery is published by Bloomsbury – for reviews see here.

Behind the Binoculars: interviews with acclaimed birdwatchers by Mark Avery and Keith Betton is published by Pelagic – here’s a review.

A Message from Martha by Mark Avery is published by Bloomsbury – for reviews see here.

www.blackwells.co.uk

Likes(16)Dislikes(1)
Website Pin Facebook Twitter Myspace Friendfeed Technorati del.icio.us Digg Google StumbleUpon Premium Responsive

6 Comments

  1. JW says:

    Why would anyone leave a thumbs down for this particular blog???

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  2. Miles says:

    Hi Mark,

    hopefully next Sunday you'll review Summer, which has just been published today (in Spring). I've just been promoting it https://anewnatureblog.wordpress.com/2016/05/19/summer-an-anthology-for-the-changing-seasons/

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  3. […] anthology is one of the three siblings to Spring previously reviewed here. It’s the same model and the same editor and gives a similar amount of […]

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  4. […] reviewed Spring and Summer here, and liked them, so it won’t be a surprise that I enjoyed Autumn […]

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  5. […] liked Spring, Summer and Autumn and I like Winter […]

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  6. […] had the occasional piece published in magazines and local newspapers. I also contributed to the Spring and Autumn books published by the Wildlife Trust and edited by Melissa […]

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)

Trackbacks

  1. JW says:

    Why would anyone leave a thumbs down for this particular blog???

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  2. Miles says:

    Hi Mark,

    hopefully next Sunday you'll review Summer, which has just been published today (in Spring). I've just been promoting it https://anewnatureblog.wordpress.com/2016/05/19/summer-an-anthology-for-the-changing-seasons/

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  3. […] anthology is one of the three siblings to Spring previously reviewed here. It’s the same model and the same editor and gives a similar amount of […]

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  4. […] reviewed Spring and Summer here, and liked them, so it won’t be a surprise that I enjoyed Autumn […]

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  5. […] liked Spring, Summer and Autumn and I like Winter […]

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  6. […] had the occasional piece published in magazines and local newspapers. I also contributed to the Spring and Autumn books published by the Wildlife Trust and edited by Melissa […]

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)

Leave Your Comment

Your email will not be published or shared. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

*

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.