News and features about my published books, plus reviews of the latest and best tree and nature books by other authors.
In 1850 young Scottish plant hunter John Jeffrey is despatched by an elite group of Victorian subscribers to seek highly-prized exotic tree species in North America. An early letter home tells of a 1,200-mile transcontinental journey on foot.
Later, tantalising botanical samples arrive from British Columbia, Oregon and California, yet early promise soon withers. Three and a half years after setting out, John Jeffrey disappears without a trace.
Was he lost to love, violence or the Gold Rush? Green Gold combines meticulous research with the fictional narrative of Jeffrey’s lost journals, revealing an extraordinary adventure.
A detailed and sumptuous celebration of trees and forests, by authors Gabriel Hemery and Sarah Simblet. Published by Bloomsbury in 2014, its 400 pages feature more than 100 tree species, accompanied by 200 specially commissioned pen and ink drawings.
“Gabriel Hemery’s text is a precise, fascinating, fluent, wide-ranging and hard-headed synthesis: an excellent popular introduction to tree biology and forestry. But the book is more than that . . . Hemery is out to celebrate and inspire passion and love . . .” Caspar Henderson, Resurgence & Ecologist Magazine
Bringing together the finest, and best-known, names in contemporary writing, Arboreal is an anthology which explores the many strands of what woodlands mean to us. Published October 2016 by Little Toller Books.
My fictional short story ‘Don’t Look Back’ is included alongside those of dozens of other authors including: Richard Mabey, Germaine Greer, Ali Smith, Simon Armitage, Paul Kingsnorth, Paul Evans, Richard Skelton, Tobias Hill, Jay Griffiths, Peter Marren, Rob Penn, Madeleine Bunting, Kathleen Jamie, William Boyd, Tim Dee, Evie Wyld.
More about my writing and books
My interest in writing books germinated while working on technical and academic publications. I’ve written more than 80 such papers (see specialist publications) and while these can influence real-life policy and practice, they have limited readership. I wanted to reach out to more people and celebrate the wonders of trees and forestry, hence writing this blog.
My first book, The New Sylva, was published by Bloomsbury in April 2014. Thanks to the stunning drawings by my co-author Sarah Simblet, together with fantastic production quality, the book has been well-received and has reached a wide audience. It was released originally in the UK, and later by Bloomsbury USA.
I’m currently on a journey of self-discovery, enjoying writing fiction which brings a new dimension to celebrating my love of trees and passion for forestry. I wrote a short story in 2016: Don’t Look Back published in the Arboreal anthology (Little Toller Books). During 2017-18, I successfully crowd-funded in support of the publication of my first full-length novel. Green Gold: The Epic True Story of Victorian Plant Hunter John Jeffrey will be published via Unbound in spring 2019.
Read the latest news about my books.