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

Would you like to receive our monthly e-newsletter? If so please click here to subscribe.


New edition of The Hare - coming soon!

It’s mad, it’s March – and we’re releasing an expanded, fully revised edition of Jill Mason’s brilliant natural history book, The Hare on 19 March (£25).

New edition of The Hare - coming soon!
New edition of The Hare - coming soon!

The new salmon pass on Ludlow's Dinham weir is great for the salmon. But this new resident otter has no difficulty in scaling the slippery slope of the weir – in salmon-like style.

Photo courtesy of Dennis Pitt


Merlin Unwin Books Authors out and about

Barry Ord Clarke, The Feather Bender, is demonstrating his flytying skills at the Glasgow Angling Centre Open Weekend today, tomorrow and Sunday. His major new book – The Feather Bender's Flytying Techniques – is published in September.

Merlin Unwin Books Authors out and about
Merlin Unwin Books Authors out and about
Merlin Unwin Books Authors out and about

The tragic crime of Shropshire vicar Robert Foulkes is living history in St Peter’s Church, Stanton Lacy. His name still appears on the board of incumbents there – but not the reason for his abrupt end of tenure! He hanged at Tyburn in 1679. Worth a visit to explore the scene of this true 1679 tale of love, betrayal and retribution.

Above: Snowdrops at St Peter's Church, Stanton Lacy
Below left: List of incumbents at St Peter's Church, Stanton Lacy
Below right: Cover image from the Temptation & Downfall of the Vicar of Stanton Lacy (£12)


A car-free Corve Street in Ludlow yesterday whilst the road was resurfaced – our Merlin Unwin Books office is on the 2nd floor of the fourth building on the left!


Stanley Weyman - Ludlow lecture

Jim Lawley told a sell-out audience of Friends of Ludlow Museum that author Stanley Weyman is Ludlow’s greatest literary genius. Ovington’s Bank is considered his best novel. Hugh Walpole declared Weyman ‘One of the finest masters of the narrative gift the English novel has known’.

Photos: (left) Jim about to start his talk and (right) Stanton Stevens of Castle Bookshop with copies of Ovington's Bank.

Stanley Weyman - Ludlow lecture
Stanley Weyman - Ludlow lecture

Merlin Unwin Books out and about

Merlin Unwin Books out and about

Barry Ord Clarke, the The Feather Bender, in action on the Veniard stand at British Fly Fair International on Saturday. Merlin Unwin Books are currently working with Barry on his forthcoming book – The Feather Bender's Flytying Techniques – due out in September.


Merlin Unwin Books out and about

Karen McCall MD, Merlin Uniwn Books, with Colin Potts of Vale Brothers Best in Show and winner of the Open Saddle Class at the The Society of Master Saddlers National Saddlery Competition at Saddlers' Hall on 4 February and his winning saddle.

Merlin Unwin Books out and about
Merlin Unwin Books out and about

Some of the entries for The Society of Master Saddlers National Saddlery Competition at Saddlers' Hall including entries from Capel Manor College





Merlin Unwin Books ready for the The Society of Master Saddlers National Saddlery Competition at Saddler's Hall with Paula Sells’ The Tack Room



Obituary - Miles Napier

We at Merlin Unwin Books are sad to hear of the recent demise of Miles Napier who passed away peacefully last month after a long illness.

Miles, who spent his career in horse racing as an Official Handicapper, approached us seven years ago to urge us to republish a racing ballad which he loved. His enthusiasm for former poet laureate John Masefield’s gripping poem Right Royal was so infectious that in 2013 we printed our own edition of Right Royal with the lovely illustrations by Cecil Aldin and a persuasive introduction by Miles. He wrote: ‘Any poem on racing must do three things. It must capture the atmosphere, convey the excitement of the race and expound the thrill of the finish. Right Royal does all three things and in creating the poem, Masefield had made an unrivalled contribution to racing literature.’

Miles will be remembered as a courteous, loyal and charming man and it was a delight to have worked with him.

Obituary - Miles Napier

Stanley Weyman - Ludlow lecture

Stanley Weyman - Ludlow lecture

Ovington's Bank is considered to be author Stanley Weyman's finest novel of his glittering literary career. Graham Greene said his novels were 'key books in my life'. Walpole declared him to be 'One of the finest masters of the narrative gift the English novel has known'.

Yet Weyman's best-selling novels are almost forgotten today. Even in Ludlow – where Weyman lived and wrote Ovington's Bank – few know that he was the town's all-time best-selling author. He surely deserves a blue plaque outside his former Broad Street home!

Ovington's Bank is set in a fictitious Shrewsbury in the 1820s and covers such topical themes as a banking crisis. It's a fast-moving page-turner exploring through the lively plot the clash of old and new money, the conflicts between self-interest and duty and the timeless emotions of love, greed, impatience and how to do the right thing.

As a Ludlow-based publisher, Merlin Unwin Books were delighted to bring back into print this superb novel which has so many local connections.

Weyman will, we hope, be put back on his pedestal by a lecture given by Jim Lawley on behalf of the Friends of Ludlow Museum at Ludlow Library on 18 February at 7pm, £4 entrance but a glass of champagne for all buying a copy of our handsome hardback on the night!


Sad to announce that we have just lost one of our best and kindest of authors, Peter O’Reilly, Ireland’s greatest ambassador for flyfishing.  RIP.


Merlin Unwin Books November special offer

Merlin Unwin Books November special offer

Author Dennis Moss's advice for those fishing reservoirs for trout: if the fish aren't rising, finding the holding depth of the trout is the fisherman's biggest challenge. He tells you how…

Endorsements for Trout from a Boat:

'Marvel at how much Moss has managed to squeeze into this book...it will come as no surprise if this re-issue of Trout From A Boat delights as many new readers as did the original.' Trout Fisherman

'A masterly treatise… the best book I have read on boat fishing. Dennis really knows his stuff and writes with authority about every kind of boat fishing you are likely to encounter in the UK and Ireland. It bets the opposition into a corner.' Waterlog

'If a potential boat fisherman bought no other book then this one would suffice. it should be red from beginning to end once and then referred to time and time again.' Wild Trout Trust

'Beautifully illustrated with mouth-watering images of stunning fish, this book will delight, educate and enthral.' Trout & Salmon

'I was bowled over by his intelligent, logical, cool and clear advice for all situations. Trout from a Boat is a gem and a must for all game anglers. I guarantee that even the most experienced angler will benefit from reading this book.' Irish Times

The book normally retails at £16 but throughout November you can buy it through out website for just £12 plus p&p!


Song of the Soliary Bass Fisher - TalkSport Radio

James Batty, author of The Song of the Solitary Bass Fisher, is being interviewed by Nigel Botherway on his Fisherman's Blues show, TalkSport Radio, this Sunday (21 October) at 6.30am.

James' ideas on bass fishing will transform your approach to catching this iconic sporting fish!

Song of the Soliary Bass Fisher - TalkSport Radio

Authors out and about

Authors out and about

Bob Thompson, author of Horse Games, is giving a talk about his book to equine students at Cirencester College next Thursday, 25 October, 1-2pm.


Offer of the month

Offer of the month


Our Catalogue

Download our catalogue