'Affectionate, evocative, illuminating. A story of survival - of a flock, a landscape and a disappearing way of life. I love this book' Nigel Slater
'Triumphant, a pastoral for the 21st century' Helen Davies, Sunday Times, Books of the Year
'The nature publishing sensation of the year, unsentimental yet luminous' Melissa Harrison, The Times, Books of the Year
Some people's lives are entirely their own creations. James Rebanks' isn't. The first son of a shepherd, who was the first son of a shepherd himself, he and his family have lived and worked in and around the Lake District for generations. Their way of life is ordered by the seasons and the work they demand, and has been for hundreds of years. A Viking would understand the work they do: sending the sheep to the fells in the summer and making the hay; the autumn fairs where the flocks are replenished; the gruelling toil of winter when the sheep must be kept alive, and the light-headedness that comes with spring, as the lambs are born and the sheep get ready to return to the fells.
Two pages into The Shepherd's Life, I was gripped. Twenty pages in, I was amazed. By its end, I knew I'd read an extraordinary book, at once political and beautiful - a major addition to the modern British literature of landscape, that can stand alongside Ronald Blythe's classic Akenfield as a portrait of a place and its people as seen from within Robert Macfarlane
James Rebanks is a shepherd based in the Lake District. His first book, The Shepherd's Life, won The Lakeland Book of the Year 2015 and was shortlisted for both The Wainwright Prize and the Ondaatje Prize. Also known as the Herdwick Shepherd, his Twitter account of daily life in the Lakes has a strong international following. His family have lived and farmed in the Lake District for six hundred years.