A Natural History


‘John Lewis-Stempel is the hottest nature writer around.’ – Spectator

‘His immense, patient powers of observation – along with a flair for the anthropomorphic – mean he is able to offer a portrait of animal life that's rare in its colour and drama.’ – Observer

‘That John Lewis-Stempel is one of the best nature writers of his generation is undisputed.’ – Country Life

‘I love the earthiness of John Lewis-Stempel's writing … The author has seen it, done it, sweated it, and has earned the right to write about it with straw-cut fingers and itchy palms. Brilliant stuff.’ – Christopher Somerville, walking correspondent for The Times

‘It’s his observation of the natural world – the sight, the sound, the smell of it – that is so memorable. He has a distinctively brisk, muscular style of writing that has a poetic intensity and concision. – Guardian

‘Lewis-Stempel sees and hears things others will never see and hear, and he can write about them as no one else can.’– Daily Mail

'Gilbert White for the 21st Century.' The Bookseller


Our countryside is iconic: a series of distinctive habitats that unite to create a landscape that is unique for the rich diversity of our flora and fauna. In England, his most magisterial book to date, John Lewis-Stempel explores each in turn, taking us from coast to moor, from downs to field, from the park to the village to create a vivid living portrait of our natural history.

In his trademark lyrical prose, Lewis-Stempel reveals the hidden workings of each habitat: the clear waters and dragonflies; the bluebells, badgers and stag beetles; wild thyme; granite cliffs; rock pools and sandy beaches; red deer standing at ancient oaks; the wayside flowers of the lane; hedgehogs and hares; and snow on the high peak. Each landscape - be it calm green or wild moor, plunging cliff or flatland fen - has shaped our idea of ourselves, our sense of what it is to be in England.

In a stunning package, complete with decorated boards, endpapers, chapterheads and a map, England: A Natural History is the definitive volume on the English landscape and the capstone of John Lewis-Stempel's nature writing.


  • A richly enjoyable treasure trove for any nature lover. Gilbert White for the 21st century.
    Caroline Sanderson, The Bookseller, Editor’s Choice

About the author

John Lewis-Stempel

John Lewis-Stempel is a farmer and 'Britain's finest living nature writer' (The Times). His books include the Sunday Times bestsellers Woodston, The Running Hare and The Wood. He is the only person to have won the Wainwright Prize for Nature Writing twice, with Meadowland and Where Poppies Blow. In 2016 he was named Magazine Columnist of the Year for his column in Country Life. He farms cattle, sheep, pigs and poultry. Traditionally.
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