John Lewis-Stempel is an award-winning writer predominantly known for his books on nature and history. He lives in Herefordshire, on the very edge of England before it runs into Wales, and within a stone's throw (with a decent gust of wind) from where his family farmed in the 1300s. His many books include the bestselling SIX WEEKS, THE WAR BEHIND THE WIRE and MEADOWLAND. His books have been published in languages as diverse as Brazilian Portuguese and Japanese, are available on all continents apart from Antarctica, and have sold more than a million copies. He has two degrees in history, writes books under the pen name Jon E. Lewis, is married with two children, and also farms.
'Nature writer and military historian John Lewis-Stempel has created a eulogy to the flora and fauna that helped men soldier on during the First World War . . . Where Poppies Blow is full of fascinating (sometimes heart-wrenching) information about the role of nature and animals in this brutal war' -- Rachel Stiles * BBC Countryfile * 'One of the best nature writers to have come along in many years, John Lewis-Stempel turns his attention here to the relationship between soldiers and nature on the Western Front during the First World War' -- John Preston * Daily Mail Christmas Books * 'Memorable' * Spectator * 'But natural history did not go into suspense while war was waged. Where Poppies Blow notes that many of the Edwardian boys who ended up on the Western Front still collected birds' eggs and butterflies' -- Simon Heffer * Daily Telegraph * 'Deeply moving . . . I finished this book marvelling at nature's healing power' -- Jonathan Tulloch * The Tablet * 'From traumatized, trench-bound British soldiers caught up in the carnage of the First World War, birdwatching and botany offered solace. So reveals John Lewis-Stempel in this riveting study drawing on verse, letters and field notes by men who served, from zoologist Dene Fry to poet Edward Thomas . . . A remarkable picture of a human bloodbath that took place amid phenomenally rich biodiversity' * Nature * 'Manages what might have seemed impossible: to find a new perspective on the Great War' -- Mark Smith * Glasgow Herald * 'Makes an important contribution to the literature by studying the British soldiers' relationship with Nature . . . Moving, strangely life-affirming' -- Clive Aslet * Country Life * 'Wonderful, beautifully written and often deeply moving' -- Lawrence James * The Times * 'In Where Poppies Blow, the nature writer, historian and farmer presents us with a beautiful and meticulous account of soldiers' relationship with nature . . . This book, which recounts the lives of our frontline soldiers from the ground up, is a truly wondrous and original work with an appeal far beyond military history' -- Charlotte Heathcote * Daily Express Christmas Books * 'What makes Where Poppies Blow so freshly moving is the picture it paints of the reverence, love and kindness the natural world can engender, even in the most hellish conditions; as Philip Gosse of the Royal Army Medical Corps called it, "medicine for the mind and solace for the soul"' -- Melissa Harrison * Financial Times *