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5x15 presents: James Rebanks - English Pastoral

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Join 5x15 to hear bestselling author James Rebanks in conversation with Rosie Boycott

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Join 5x15 to hear bestselling author James Rebanks as he reflects on his prize-winning new book, English Pastoral; the countryside we’ve inherited, and the legacy we want to leave.

James Rebanks’ first book, The Shepherd’s Life, was a bestselling instant classic, an account of twenty-first century farming set against the stunning, timeless backdrop of the Lake District.

The theme of James’s second book, English Pastoral, is inheritance. It is the story both of the farm that was passed down to James, and of the things that were lost – wild things, community, age-old rhythms of work.

Yet this elegy from the northern fells is also a song of hope: of how, guided by the past, one farmer began to salvage a tiny corner of England, doing his best to restore the life that had vanished while creating a legacy for the future.

English Pastoral has been described by Melvyn Bragg as a ‘masterpiece’, and by Isabella Tree as ‘one of the most important books of our time.’ In September it was awarded The Wainwright Prize for UK Nature Writing 2021. This is a book about what it means to have love and pride in a place, and how, against all the odds, it may still be possible to build a new pastoral: not a utopia, but somewhere decent for us all.

James Rebanks is a shepherd based in the Lake District, where his family have lived and worked for over six hundred years. His No.1 bestselling debut, The Shepherd's Life, won the Lake District Book of the Year, was shortlisted for the Wainwright and Ondaatje prizes, and has been translated into sixteen languages. His second book, English Pastoral, was also a Top Ten bestseller and was named the Sunday Times Nature Book of the Year. Heralded as a ‘masterpiece’ by the New Statesman, it was shortlisted for the Ondaatje prize and the Orwell Prize for Political Writing, and longlisted for the Rathbones Folio prize.

With thanks for your generous support for 5x15 online.

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