Hodder Studio acquires The Consolation of Nature: Spring in the Time of Coronavirus, a beautiful and intimate portrait of Spring by nature writers Michael McCarthy, Jeremy Mynott and Peter Marren

Hodder Studio is pleased to announce the acquisition of this curated diary from three nature writers which charts the extraordinary return of nature this spring, at the time of the covid-19 pandemic. Assistant Editor Izzy Everington bought rights for the UK & Commonwealth from Andrew Gordon at David Higham. 

Nature took on a new importance for thousands of people when the coronavirus arrived, providing solace in a time of great anxiety – not least because the crisis struck at the beginning of the springtime, the season of hope and renewal; and furthermore, in an extraordinary conjunction, the spring of 2020 turned out to be the loveliest spring ever recorded in Britain.

Three nature writers, living like everyone else under lockdown, but walking out each day to exercise, resolved to record their experiences of the coronavirus spring, in widely contrasting parts of the country. They did so to share with others their sense of the wonder, inspiration and delight the natural world can offer, and The Consolation of Nature is the enthralling account of what they discovered by literally walking out from their front doors.

Michael McCarthy is one of Britain’s leading environmental journalists, formerly environment correspondent of The Times and environment editor of The Independent. He has won a string of awards for his writing, including the Medal of the RSPB, for ‘outstanding services to conservation’. His book Say Goodbye to the Cuckoo (2009), a study of Britain’s summer migrant birds, was widely praised; The Moth Snowstorm: Nature and Joy (2015) was shortlisted for the Wainwright Prize and the Richard Jefferies Prize.

Jeremy Mynott is a classical scholar, Emeritus Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge and former Chief Executive of Cambridge University Press. He is the author of various books on wildlife and nature. Birdscapes: birds in our experience and imagination (2009) was described by one reviewer as ‘the finest book ever written on why we watch birds’. His latest book, Birds in the Ancient World: Winged Words (2018), was shortlisted for the Wolfson History Prize and was a TLS ‘Book of the Year’.

Peter Marren is a nature writer and commentator, author of Bugs Britannica, Rainbow Dust, Chasing the Ghost and many other books on British plants, insects, and the countryside. He won the BSBI President’s Prize for Britain’s Rare Flowers, which was also runner-up for the Natural World Book Prize. He was awarded the Thackray Medal for The New Naturalists by the Society for the History of Natural History. His satirical column in British Wildlife magazine, Twitcher in the Swamp, has a cult following.

Michael McCarthy said: ‘Jeremy, Peter and I need no reminding of how fortunate we were, they to be in the countryside during the pandemic, and myself to be in one of London’s greenest suburbs. But we attempted to put our good fortune to good use, by walking out every day, notebooks in hand, to set down and share what many others could not witness, in this most unusual, and as it turned out, most beautiful of springtimes. With a background of so many deaths and so much heartache, to go out each day observing seemed like a solemn act but if by our efforts we can help to show that the consolation of nature is a consolation like no other, then our enterprise will have been worthwhile.’

Izzy Everington said: ‘I feel so privileged to be working on this incredible book. While in lockdown, these three remarkable authors decided that they wanted to paint a picture of the beauty of nature, to many, a singular escape from isolation. While the world was thrown into chaos, they ended up charting the progress of the best spring on record in the form of this rich and moving meditation on the natural world.’

The Consolation of Nature will be published in hardback and digital editions on 15th October 2020.

For more publicity information please contact Maria Garbutt-Lucero: / 020 3122 6259