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Summary

Random House presents the audiobook edition of The Glorious Life of the Oak by John Lewis-Stempel, read by Leighton Pugh.

'The oak is the wooden tie between heaven and earth. It is the lynch pin of the British landscape.'

The oak is our most beloved and most common tree. It has roots that stretch back to all the old European cultures, but Britain has more ancient oaks than all the other European countries put together. More than half the ancient oaks in the world are in Britain. 

Many of our ancestors - the Angles, the Saxons, the Norse - came to the British Isles in longships made of oak. For centuries the oak touched every part of a Briton's life - from cradle to coffin. It was oak that made the 'wooden walls' of Nelson's navy, and the navy that allowed Britain to rule the world. Even in the digital Apple age, the real oak has resonance - the word speaks of fortitude, antiquity, pastoralism. 

The Glorious Life of the Oak explores our long relationship with this iconic tree. It considers the life cycle of the oak; the flora and fauna that depend on the oak; the oak as medicine, food and drink; and where Britain's mightiest oaks can be found, and it tells of oak stories from folklore, myth and legend. 

©2018 John Lewis-Stempel (P)2018 Random House Audiobooks

What listeners say about The Glorious Life of the Oak

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Another beautiful book from JLS

Loved this book. Another little gem told in the poetic way that we have come to expect from JLS. Excellent narration too.

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Really informative. Excellently read. Wonderful.

Really informative. Excellently read.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, packed with interesting history and information.

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An enchanting book

If you have any interest in trees you'll love The Glorious Life of the Oak. Full of entertaining and interesting snippets of information you'll learn lots and come away in awe of the impact these green giants have on our lives.

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A great writer who reads too rapidly.

What a shame that such a wonderful subject doesn't afford the reader enough time to digest what is being read. Transitions are too rapid and the 'soul' of the subject and it's huge importance in time and place is lost in a rather text book style narration.

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Interesting facts but limited in scope

The oak is a fascinating tree but this account of its place in our culture looks hastily put together though the author's knowledge and research is obviously thorough. Anecdotes are too sketchy , landscapes limited, personal recollections very sparse. This looks like a rushed money spinner, rather than the loving accounts of the natural world I have come to expect from this author.