The New Sylva book in-hand

Today – by chance World Book Day – the first bound copy of The New Sylva arrived in the author’s hands from Bloomsbury Publishing.

It is a strange emotion unwrapping and viewing for the first time the fruit of several years of labour. A mixture of joy and pleasure, immense satisfaction, and a real sense that something has finally been achieved. It seems a good time also to reflect on how many people have supported Sarah and me in bringing this book to reality.

Seeing it for the first time has made me proud of the unbeatable team behind the book – and a team effort is exactly what it has been. The journey started over four years ago when Sarah and I started to shape an idea for the book. We met three and a half years ago with literary agent Rosemary Scholar. Commissioning of the book by Bloomsbury led us to work directly with their editorial team; first with senior commissioning editor Richard Atkinson, and later overseen with such aplomb by Natalie Bellos (nee Hunt). Subsequently also at Bloomsbury: Alison Glossop, Marina Asenjo, Lynsey Sutherland and Madeleine Feeney, who all put in so much hard graft behind the scenes. Other essential members of the team were book designers Peter Dawson and Louise Evans of Grade Design, copy editor Rachael Oakden, proofreader Barbara Roby, and indexer Vicki Robinson. Regular readers of this blog will recognise many of these names.

The book would also not have come together without the support of tree and forest owners, scientists, artists and members of the public. We trust that the book will satisfy them and our future readers. Perhaps we will see some of you at the author events during the year?

We look forward to official publication day on April 10th. Note that you can pre-order your signed copy today.

Gabriel Hemery


  1. I have ordered this book for a friend of mine, she collects antiquarian illustrated books, I have no doubt she will love this wonderful looking ‘new’ book as it is based on an older book and of course it is full of fine illustrations.

  2. I’ve been following this post for a while & now can’t wait to see the finished book! I’ve ordered my copy just now & wait with anticipation for the book to arrive in the post. Well done.

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