Merlin Unwin Books

"Merlin Unwin Books are lively, innovative countryside book publishers.

Their well-produced range of rural, wildlife, fieldsports and fishing books never fail to inform and entertain."

Philip Dunne MP
co-founder of Ottakar’s bookshops

The Countryman's Bedside Book

This re-issue of BB's classic memoir will be enjoyed by all who appreciate fine country writing, and who believe passionately in the resilience of Mother Nature, despite the follies of mankind.

Denys Watkins-Pitchford (better known as BB) wrote these wonderful essays on the English countryside in the 1930s - a time of peace and renewal between two world wars. The book was finally published in 1941 when, as BB puts it, England was 'in the darkest hour of our history.'

BB captures here in words and sensitive wood engravings the wonders of English wildlife and countryside.

Includes essays on:

  • ravens and rookeries
  • the stone curlew
  • the purple emperor butterfly
  • a woodcutter's house
  • an encounter with a wildfowler one frosty dawn
  • a night fishing on the Solway
  • the strange behaviour of song thrushes
  • the rescue of a black labrador
  • a favourite copse
  • the accidental death of a groom
  • village characters
  • hedgerows - and many more topics


Author: BB
Illustrator: Denys Watkins-Pitchford
ISBN: 978 1 873674 94 9
Published: October 1941
Latest edition: September 2006
No. of pages: 272
48 Wood engravings
Price: £6.75

The Countryman's Bedside Book by BB

This ebook is available at the following sellers:

Press reviews

Reviewed by Will Cohu of The Daily Telegraph in July 2005

'He looked at and experienced nature as only a privileged few have done.’

Reviewed by Jeffrey Olstead of BASC Magazine in October 2006

'After the Bible and Shakespeare, this is the book to take to a desert island. BB was unquestionably the finest countryside writer of the last century, and here is some of his best work.'

Reviewed by Tom Quinn of CLA magazine in October 2006

'Beautifull produced new edition.'

Reviewed in BB Society Newsletter in October 2006

'This classic memoir will be enjoyed by all who appreciate fine country writing.'

Reviewed in The Oldie in October 2006

'This book is a homage to the English countryside.'

Reviewed in Farm Life in November 2006

'Feels like an amble through the countryside with someone who notices the details in life.'

Reviewed in The Landsman in January 2008

'A lovely gift for any nature lover.'

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