Nurture through nature: Eight Master Lessons of Nature by Gary Ferguson, Where Poppies Grow: The British Soldier, Nature, The Great War by John Lewis-Stemple, and The Invention of Clouds by Richard Hamblyn

‘We can’t go there. It’s full of drug dealers.’ Thus laboured my beloved’s worn refrain whenever I suggested we explore the mysterious woodland at the top of our road. It took a pandemic, and the dawning realisation that we had exhausted all other fruitful walks within a one-hour radius during the first lockdown, for the…

Armistice 2018: Beyond the Glass by Antonia White (1954)

Set in the twenties and the last in the ‘Frost in May’ series, Antonia White’s semi-autobiographical account of a young woman’s descent into madness after an intense love affair with a soldier too swiftly follows a failed marriage includes the following haunting scene appropriate for this poignant Sunday. During High Mass, requiem is being sung…

The Englishman At War, edited by John Freeman (1941)

I must start this week’s Random Book of the Week with a confession: a long line of theft led to me possessing this book. I ‘borrowed’ it from my parental abode a few years ago, my dad had himself ‘borrowed’ it from his own parental abode many years before that, and we think my Granddad…

Field Hospital and Flying Column by Violetta Thurstan

On the eve of the centenary of the Somme, and to continue this week’s First World War theme, I present Field Hospital and Flying Column, Violetta Thurstan’s account of her experiences as a Red Cross nurse across a First World War-torn Europe. Thurstan was born in East Sussex in 1879, educated in Germany and trained…

Journey’s End by R.C. Sherriff

To continue this week’s First World War theme in the run up to the centenary of the Somme on 1 July, a 1928 play which brings to life the most evocative of First World War images – the trenches. Journey’s End is set in the British trenches near Saint-Quentin, Aisne, in 1918, as officers prepare…

War In European History by Michael Howard

On July 1st 2016 we will commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the start of the bloodiest battle in human history, the 141-day Battle of the Somme that claimed 1 million lives. Therefore, this week at Brontë’s Page Turners we will be looking at a range of books that get under the skin of the trauma…