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Winter: An Anthology for the Changing Seasons


4.06  ·  Rating details ·  72 ratings  ·  22 reviews
Winter is a withdrawal: quiet and dark and cold. But in the dim light frost shimmers, stars twinkle and hearths blaze as we come together to keep out the chill. In spite of the season, life persists: visiting birds fill our skies, familiar creatures find clever ways to survive, and the world reveals winter riches to those willing to venture outdoors.

In prose and poetry spa
Paperback, 208 pages
Published October 20th 2016 by Elliott & Thompson
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Amalia Gavea
‘’Quickly, days short, somehow we all adjust and welcome the dark, for it is neither threatening nor smothering. Darkness becomes a thing of joy and vivid beauty in its own right. When early winter storms blow in, night skies are shrouded in heavy swathes of purple-black velvet. On cloudless nights the Milky Way comes overhead, a broad braided river of light coursing through the sky. And in this time of conflict and rapid change, of life and death, other lights become visible as the darkness de ...more
I’m ambivalent about English winters, so was interested to see how the authors collected in Melissa Harrison’s final seasonal anthology would explore its inherent contradictions. I especially appreciated the views of outsiders. Jini Reddy, a Quebec native, calls British winters “a long, grey sigh or a drawn-out ache.” In two of my favorite pieces, Christina McLeish and Nakul Krishna – from Australia and India, respectively – compare the warm, sunny winters they experienced in their homelands wit ...more
Dec 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
The turn of the seasons is steady and relentless. Winter is a time to batten down the hatches, and retreat inside from the weather and darkness. It is also a reboot for the natural world, the cold forces animals and plants to pause, reset and hold with the anticipation of longer days coming soon. But there is life out there if you know where to look, the promise of fresh green to come contained within sticky buds, birds eking out an existence as they flit from branch to branch in search of food. ...more
Penny Hill
Mar 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. This was such a treat. Melissa Harrison has edited books for each of the seasons. Winter was on one side for my Bamburgh trip at the end of Feb and have been reading it this week with Britain well and truly in the depths of Winter. Have been on annual leave but unable to go out very much due to snow so snuggled up and dipped in and out of this beautiful book.

I had some favourite extracts of course and found the poetry harder going but I often need to return to poems a few times to gra
Lola Et La Vie
This anthology, mostly consisting of non-fiction, is such a delight.

Quite obviously the link between all these different snippets of stories, poems and observations is winter, which (also obviously) makes this the perfect anthology to read this time of year.

A lot of the stories were centered around the natural world, which is one of my favourite subjects, whether in fiction or non-fiction. I loved the beating heart of nature that pretty much all of these story had in common. The observation that
Jun 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nature, non-fiction
I had to give it five stars as it's a fantastic, diverse collection and, well, I've got a small piece in there - just along the way from James Joyce and Thomas Hardy. August company.
Linda Hill
Nov 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I’m finding it difficult to review Winter – An Anthology for the Changing Seasons without repeating all my praise for Summer too.

Once again this anthology is an absolute delight. There really is something for everyone, regardless of whether the reader likes poetry or prose, modern or classical literature, essay or diary.

I found a warming familiarity through the inclusion of old favourites like Hardy’s The Darkling Thrush or Dickens’s Bleak House as these pieces brought back memories from my past
Katie Lumsden
Dec 21, 2016 rated it it was ok
A two star in enjoyment, but more because this book wasn't for me than because it's bad. It has a few interesting entries but for the most part I found it quite dull. I think I'm just the wrong audience.
Jan 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nature-writing
I think these Anthologies for the Changing Seasons are so wonderful to read. Melissa Harrison has dedicated her time to collecting the best writing about the English seasons from honoured writers. In Winter, you have an array of writers including: William Wordsworth, Thomas Hardy, Robert Macfarlane, Virginia Woolf, Charles Dickens and William Shakespeare, to name but a few. Each writer captures something different about the season, detailing what it represents to them, how it unfolds in differen ...more
Jun 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was an unexpected joy. To be completely honest, I bought this book because of the beautiful cover, which isn't the soundest reason to read something, but I'm so glad that I did. It was interesting reading this as the year begins to edge into summer, rather than during the winter (as I intended when I bought this volume). There was more than one moment when I looked up from reading to be surprised to find that snow was not falling outside: that it was, in fact, June. I'm definitely goin ...more
Ludmila Marton
Feb 25, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. I must say I’m somewhat disappointed. While still an enjoyable read, I thought this was supposed to be a celebration of winter. Only few entries came across as that. Lots of general sorts of essays and then lots of entries that looked basically like complaints (albeit poetic). Surely there is more to this unique season with its own beauties and charms rather than "it’s so cold and gloomy and miserable and did I mention cold? And is it spring yet?"
Lorraine Greenwood
A really good read, would thoroughly recommend this book. I now look at winter in a while new

light. I just thought of it as a cold season with not much happening but I couldn't have been more wrong.
Mar 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
A really interesting choice of pieces, some of which I knew a lot I didn't.
There's a lot of recent natural history writing....
AND I've found someone else to follow on Twitter!
Excellent - thank you Daily Telegraph for reviewing this book!
Lisa Bergin
Mar 18, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 stars Poetry and Prose about Winter. Some of it was excellent but a bit too much prose and some of it did not seem all that Winter themed. Nevertheless I am glad I read it. I will start on the Spring one in the 20th March.
Feb 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, nature, series
The fourth in the series of anthologies about the Seasons. I rate this series highly because, although each book contains a few excerpts that do nothing for me, on the whole and overall, they are a rather brilliant set of writings, contemporary and historical, about the seasons.

A fuller review of all 4 volumes can be found on blog
Michelle Ryles
Dec 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs-read
I feel fortunate to have read the full series of seasonal anthologies edited by Melissa Harrison. I felt the hope and rebirth of Spring, basked in the lazy heat of Summer, revelled in the glorious colours of Autumn and now it is the cold and harshness of Winter.

Perhaps as it is my least favourite season, I didn't feel winter through the writing as much as I did with the other anthologies. Winter does, however, have the most apt opening line that epitomises winter as written by Roger Deakin in No
T.E. Shepherd
Jan 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Like it's sister book, Autumn, this is not just a collection of poetry, prose, and non-fiction but a narrative of the darkest season. It takes us through the cold winter months through, frosts and fog, and flurries of snow. We feel through the words the hard, frozen ground under foot, and the wildest of storms.

Diary entries keep us locked to natures calendar with its stories of winter survival and migratory escape. There are possibly more contemporary accounts in this volume than in Autumn but
Henrietta Glynn
Jan 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this collection of winter tales, I believe I will keep it to hand - to dip into again until there is the promise of spring. From Shakespeare's sonnet 97, to Caroline Greville's badger watching adventures - each piece is well chosen and reflective of all that we feel as winter passes.
Nov 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Started this last year but my timing was all wrong. Planned it all out to read most of the winter: 11/22/17 through 2/11/18, one entry every day.

page 44:
Jo Barton
Nov 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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Donna Boultwood
Apr 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful collection of winter inspired essays and poems.
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Melissa Harrison is the author of the novels Clay and At Hawthorn Time, which was shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award and longlisted for the Bailey's Women's Prize, and one work of non-fiction, Rain, which was longlisted forthe Wainwright Prize. She is a nature writer, critic and columnist for The Times, the Financial Times and the Guardian, among others. Her new novel All Among the Barley is du ...more

Other books in the series

Seasons (4 books)
  • Spring: An Anthology for the Changing Seasons
  • Summer: An Anthology for the Changing Seasons
  • Autumn: An Anthology for the Changing Seasons