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  • Published: 30 March 2021
  • ISBN: 9781529124835
  • Imprint: Century
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 240
  • RRP: $35.00

The Nightingale

'The nature book of the year'




An illustrated miscellany of the nightingale, perfect for nature and bird lovers

'Wondering and wonderful. The nature book of the year.' JOHN LEWIS-STEMPEL

'This lovely book is almost as thrilling as the bird's immortal song - balm for a troubled soul and a glimpse of paradise.' JOANNA LUMLEY
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Come to the forest, sit by the fireside and listen to intoxicating song, as Sam Lee tells the story of the nightingale.

Every year, as darkness falls upon woodlands, the nightingale heralds the arrival of Spring. Throughout history, its sweet song has inspired musicians, writers and artists around the world, from Germany, France and Italy to Greece, Ukraine and Korea.

Here, passionate conservationist, renowned musician and folk expert Sam Lee tells the story of the nightingale. This book reveals in beautiful detail the bird's song, habitat, characteristics and migration patterns, as well as the environmental issues that threaten its livelihood.

From Greek mythology to John Keats, to Persian poetry and 'A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square', Lee delves into the various ways we have celebrated the nightingale through traditions, folklore, music, literature, from ancient history to the present day. The Nightingale is a unique and lyrical portrait of a famed yet elusive songbird.
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'Sam Lee has brought the poetic magic that has long enchanted so many of his musical fans into the written word. Allow yourself to glimpse the world Sam sees, to be part of his love affair with the nightingale, and you will no doubt be delighted.' LILY COLE

'A wonderful book.' STEPHEN MOSS

'A magical marriage of the lyrical and practical: a book that makes us want to seek out the nightingale and then reveals how we can.' TRISTAN GOOLEY

  • Published: 30 March 2021
  • ISBN: 9781529124835
  • Imprint: Century
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 240
  • RRP: $35.00

About the author

Sam Lee

Sam Lee is a Mercury Prize-nominated and BBC Folk Award-winning singer, conservationist and curator. Trained in fine art but with a lifelong passion for wilderness studies and nature connection, Sam is a folk music specialist dedicated to collecting, sharing and interpreting ancient oral music from Britain and Ireland. He has combined these interests through his ‘Singing with Nightingales’ annual springtime concert series.

His singing has been heard in films and TV shows, from Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword to Peaky Blinders. Sam was musical director for the RSPB’s 2019 Top 20 birdsong single, ‘Let
Nature Sing’ and his 2020 album Old Wow garnered five-star reviews. He has lectured at Goldsmiths, SOAS and Oxford University and was the first folk singer to teach at the Royal College of Music.

Praise for The Nightingale

This lovely book is almost as thrilling as the bird's immortal song - balm for a troubled soul and a glimpse of paradise

Joanna Lumley

A master storyteller

Guardian praise for Sam Lee's Singing with Nightingales

Sam Lee has brought the poetic magic that has long enchanted so many of his musical fans into the written word. Allow yourself to glimpse the world Sam sees, to be part of his love affair with the nightingale, and you will no doubt be delighted.

Lily Cole

Wondering and wonderful. The nature book of the year.

John Lewis-Stempel

This captivating miscellany, richly illustrated with paintings, photographs, maps and line drawings, is a scintillating celebration of the nightingale by a Mercury Prize-nominated folk musician, environmental activist and conservationist.

Caroline Sanderson, Bookseller, Editor's Choice

A wonderful book.

Stephen Moss

Truly enchanting. Sam Lee takes the reader by an emotional hand and leads them through the labyrinth of poetry and song to elucidate humans' everlasting attachment to the nightingale.

Roger Phillips

A really beautiful book . . . Lovely.

Mark Radcliffe

A magical marriage of the lyrical and practical: a book that makes us want to seek out the nightingale and then reveals how we can.

Tristan Gooley

A marvellous miscellany of the nightingale, the sweet-singing bird which is now, alas, on of the "endlings" - the last of a species facing extinction

Independent

With our new-found love of wildlife, this book promises to lift the spirits of not just bird enthusiasts, but nature lovers, too.

People's Friend

Enchanting. Full of piercing joy and love-fuelled lament and urgency. A beautiful book for a beautiful bird.

Anna Hope, author of EXPECTATION

Beautiful. A book to treasure which I'll keep on returning to.

Sue Stuart-Smith, author of THE WELL GARDENED MIND

Heaven to hold in the hand, mind and heart.

Dr Amy-Jane Beer

A vivid and often moving account of a bird that has inspired everyone from the ancients to John Keats and Oliver Messiaen

Herald

Lee delves into the intricacies of the song, habitat and migration of this mysterious, enchanting creature in a tale that's as lyrical as the bird itself

Radio Times

This is nature writing at its most romantic

Geographic

Lyrical, sweet and loving, this account of one bird's link to human culture and history through the evocative presence of its voice was impossible to put down.

Bernie Krause, founder of Wild Sanctuary

Lee's book is not just a lyrically crafted biography, but a moving rebellion against political inaction and lost connections. It is a bell to toll you out into a forest of re-enchantment.

New Statesman

A beautiful, lyrical, heartfelt book ... Certainly my appreciation of however many nightingalers are left to me will be for ever heightened by the time I've spent with this generous, sensitive book about our most glorious songbird

Alex Preston, Observer

A composer who can write as eloquently as he sings. A rare bird, indeed!

Leah Borromeo

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