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

Merlin Unwin Books | Latest News

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GT - Angling Report review

GT – A Flyfisher's Guide to Giant Trevally as been reviewed by Steve Collis in the February issue of The Angling Report, USA. Steve says: 'This comprehensive and very usable guide contains pretty much all the information an angler intent on catching these most intimidating of fish could want. I cannot recommend this book enough. A note of caution though: GT fishing is profoundly addictive (believe me I know). So if you buy this book, which I highly recommend you do, you are very likely to develop a lifetime habit!'

You can subscribe to The Angling Report here where you can read the review in full!

GT - Angling Report review

Talking of puppies.......

Talking of puppies.......

Freddie the Merlin Unwin Books office dog isn't allowed on the sofa – he thinks this is a compromise.


Puppy training tips

Puppy training tips

If you have a new puppy, you will benefit from expert Fiona Baird’s no nonsense advice in her pocket book Training Your Puppy (£9.99pb/£7.99ebook). She’s very clear on how to train your puppy to come back, especially on why you MUST NEVER CHASE THEM. Here’s her advice on how to get your puppy to come back inside after you’ve left him in the garden.

Puppy training tips

Flyfishing for Pike

Flyfishing for Pike

Pike are in peak condition this month. New converts to fishing for pike on the fly might like to try Dominic Garnett’s recommendation: the Frost Bite. He recommends an 8 weight fly line for this small-water, canals and drains offering. He says, ‘It has a bit of everything: some light and some dark; some flash and a bright target point. The black deer hair ensures that it sinks very slowly which is ideal for those shallow, weedy, pike-infested waters where lures continually snag.'

Photos, recipe and instructions from Flyfishing for Coarse Fish (£20)

Flyfishing for Pike
Flyfishing for Pike

Pheasant thriller seeks title

Pheasant thriller seeks title

PD Hart Davis will delight fans of her mystery The Stalking Party with her recently-delivered new thriller, set this time on a series of pheasant shoots. A labyrinthine plot involving the conflicting interests of different shooting cartels, villagers, local politics and illicit sexual liaisons, this thriller needs a good shooting title. Any suggestions? If your title is chosen, you will receive a signed copy of the book, which will be published in September this year. Please email your suggestions to: books@merlinunwin.co.uk The deadline is 10 March 2018.

On the subject of pheasants, this one made it to the end of the game season and to celebrate had the cheek to come to the Merlin Unwin Books bird-feeder to fill its crop with bird-seed!

Pheasant thriller seeks title

Great catch!

One of the many sea trout that Jonathan White, author of Nymphing – the new way, is catching on heavy-duty nymphs in Argentina at the moment. His biggest is 17lb!

Great catch!

Obituary

Obituary

We are sad to report the death of Derek Mills, author of many books, including our recent book on the flytyer Megan Boyd. He was a delightful man who gave a great deal to the world of salmon science, management and conservation.

 


Merlin Unwin Books February Special Offer

The perfect ‘thank you’ gift for friends and family – and one for yourself!

Get ready to enjoy all of Britain and Ireland’s wild flowers throughout the year as you walk through the countryside. Over 1,000 wild flowers are beautifully painted and named in the month they will appear, in this jewel-like hard-back.

Wild Flowers of Britain retails at £8.99 plus p&p but throughout February if you BUY TWO COPIES through our website we'll send you a THIRD COPY FREE!

Merlin Unwin Books February Special Offer

Breach orange vodka

Breach orange vodka

Seville oranges are in season this month so why not try out Prue Coats’ Breach orange vodka? Make three pints now and you will be enjoying drinking the tangy ‘sharpener’ by April – perfect!

~ Recipe ~


Makes 3 bottles                          

We used to slurp this down at Breach Farm, the home of Joe, a  dear neighbour after lunch. It was so good that we drank far more than was good for us. Sadly, he has now moved north, so, Scots, beware! Joe, always thought big, so, when he gave me the recipe, it specified 4.5 litres/8 pints of vodka! I have cut it down to half, which makes 3 bottles.

4 Seville oranges
4 lemons
2.25 litres/4 pints vodka
700 g/1½ lb cane sugar

Peel the oranges and lemons very thinly, taking care not to leave any pith on the zest. Stick the zest into a 2.25-litre/4-pint jar (a wine-making jar, obtainable from Boots, is ideal). Add the sugar and vodka and cork tightly. Leave for at least 3 months in a dark cupboard, shaking occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Strain and pour into clean bottles.
Recipe from Prue's New Country Cooking (£15.99)
Breach orange vodka

Sphagnum moss

Sphagnum moss

Sphagnum moss (also peat or bog moss) has a spectacular capacity to absorb blood, is antiseptic, and easy to collect and transport. These properties made it a superb battlefield or foraging medicine; if you are cut while outdoors, yarrow or any astringent will stop bleeding and sphagnum can be the dressing.
 

The doctors and the nurses
Look North with eager eyes,
And call on us to send them
The dressing that they prize.
No other is its equal – 
In modest bulk it goes
Until it meets the gaping wound
Where the red life blood flows,
Then spreading, swelling in its might
It checks the fatal loss,
And kills the germ, and heals the hurt
– The kindly Sphagnum Moss.

– Mrs A M Smith, a member of the Edinburgh War Dressings Supply organisation, 1917

This and hundreds of other cures are in 
Wayside Medicine (£16.99) by Julie Bruton-Seal and Matthew Seal which is now available in the US as Backyard Medicine for All (Skyhorse Publishing).

Sphagnum moss
Sphagnum moss

BETA International 2018

BETA International 2018

Just spent a fascinating few hours at BETA International where we saw students from the Princess Royal College of Animal Management and Saddlery, London, competing to make an Irish martingale.

Pictured below (L-R): Bibiane Droog, Gudrun-Kirstine Gadegaard Thuesen, Tara Griffin and Zoe Hunt.

BETA International 2018

Literary rewards

Literary rewards

The Healing Stream, Laurence Catlow’s ground-breaking fishing memoir, which covers his ‘riverside’ recovery from a nervous break-down, has been selected as one of the entries for the prestigious 2018 PEN Ackerley autobiography prize. Well done Laurence.
 
A recent reader of The Healing Stream wrote to us a follows, and agreed to us sharing his quote:
 
'Thank you, simply thanks for publishing the Healing Stream. I shall forever use the name salmon trousers for chest waders. A very moving book. Thanks.'

            Andrew B.

Man-eaters of Kumaon - Rifle Shooter and Sporting Shooter

The Man-eaters of Kumaon (£15.99) by Jim Corbett has been reviewed in the December issues of Rifle Shooter and Sporting Shooter.

Rifle Shooter: 'Educational and humbling, as well as gripping, this book will keep you glued to the pages for hours on end, transporting you to the shadowy jungles of 1930s India from which you’ll be hard pressed to return.  In solid hardback, this would make a wonderful gift. Prepare to re-think everything you thought you knew about man-eating tigers.'

Sporting Shooter: 'Bedtime reading just got a bit more exciting.'

Man-eaters of Kumaon - Rifle Shooter and Sporting Shooter

Merlin Unwin Books January Special Offer

Merlin Unwin Books January Special Offer

Catch more fish this year! How to Fly Fish, From Newcomer to Improver will teach you everything you need to know, from the kit, the knots, the casts, the flies and the techniques. Trout and salmon, bank, boat, river or still-water – this practical hardback full-colour how-to book has it all!

How to Flyfish hardback normally retails at £9.99 but throughout January you can buy it through our website for just £5.99 plus p&p!
 


Happy New Year!

The Merlin Unwin Books team are already hard at work on our new projects for 2018. It's going to be an exciting year with a new book from Roger Evans, more innovative game cookery from Jose Souto and Steve Lee, fishing, horses, a pheasant-shooting thriller by DP Hart-Davis, a hunting biography and more! In the meantime, we wish all our customers a happy and prosperous 2018!


The Stiperstones: Early morning sun highlights frost-covered rocks near the summit, with a mist-wreathed Corndon Hill seen in the distance.

– from A Year in Shropshire by Mike and John Hayward (£20)


Seasons Greetings from Merlin Unwin Books
 
Winter sunshine sparkles on a hoar frost enveloping Ludlow castle
– from A Year in Shropshire by Mike and John Hayward (£20)

Who's stalking the stalkers?

Who's stalking the stalkers?

This map shows the Strathtorran Peninsula, the setting of the labyrinthine murder mystery in The Stalking Party (£14.99) by D P Hart-Davis. In the gun-room of the remote Scottish sporting  lodge there are plenty of high-powered rifles and many of the house party guests know very well how to use them. So which of them is stalking the stalkers in this chilling winter mystery? 

Who's stalking the stalkers?

Alternative Party Games

Alternative Party Games

The WI Country Woman's Year is a beautiful reworking of the 1960 classic and is bound in a lovely authentic 1960s cloth fabric. The book contains a wealth of knowledge and explains how to do everything from wallpapering to jam-making, Durham quilting to making Christmas wreaths and table decorations.

The WI Country Woman's Year also has some really good games which are worth a try at the family Christmas party:

Write to Aunt Agatha
Each person writes (in not more than 100 words) an imaginary problem similar to those found in women’s magazines. The papers are then collected, shuffled up, and redistributed. Each person then writes an answer to the problem she has been given. The most amusing answer wins the prize.

Or something more physical…

Happy Family Musical Chairs
For this game the number of players must be divisible by four (12, 16, 24, etc).

For easy explanation we will assume that twenty-four people are playing. From a pack of Happy Family cards remove sufficient complete families for the players (six families, making twenty-four cards). 

Put five chairs down the centre of the room, and line up the players round the chairs. Give each player a card (having well-shuffled the cards first). Players must not divulge which card they have got. 

As the music is played they go round the chairs. When it stops everyone shouts loudly who she is, and endeavours to collect the rest of her family. 

When the complete family has assembled, they must sit down on a chair in the following order: Mr Bun, Mrs Bun on his knee, Master Bun on his mother’s knee, and Miss Bun on her brother’s knee. 

As there are only five chairs for six families, one family is ‘out’ and a chair is removed, also one ‘family’ from the cards – after which the game continues until the last two families fight for the last chair. 

The WI Country Woman's Year (£15.99) has been selected as one of the Daily Mail’s recommended books for Christmas!

Alternative Party Games

A comforting but healthy autumn and winter dish is Jose Souto’s Venison Lasagne as published in his popular Venison, The Game Larder (£25). Here’s the recipe.


Offer of the month

Offer of the month


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