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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Merlin Unwin Books - out and about

Merlin Unwin Books - out and about

Merlin Unwin Books will be at The Lycetts Festival of Hunting on 18 July to launch The Lady of the Chase – the life and hunting diaries of Daphne Moore by Alastair Jackson. Call by and see us to get your signed copy!
 

Photo taken from outside our Merlin Unwin Books office – it could only happen in Ludlow!


New books for 2018

Since the beginning of the year we've been hard at work getting our 2018 colour books ready. The authors and photographers are working closely with us on the final adjustments as we send the books to press.

Among the new books we will be publishing are:

Feathers – The Game Larder  by Jose Souto & Steve Lee (£25) is published 2 August 2018
This modern collection of game bird recipes is brought to us by Jose Souto and 22 other game aficionado professional chefs, all lavishly illustrated with sumptuous photographs by Steve Lee. This sister volume to the successful Venison, The Game Larder, will be launched at The Game Fair, Ragley Hall, 27-29 July, where Jose will be demonstrating his famous game bird cookery skills in The Field Kitchen Theatre, and pre-publication signed copies will be available.

Horse Games: One Man’s Search for the Tribal Horse Contests of Asia and Africa
by Bob Thompson (£20) is published 6 September 2018
Author and former Horse Guards officer Bob Thompson travels to some of the world’s most remote places to fulfil his passion for seeing, while they still remain, the last vestiges of the skills of the war horse. From the buzhashi horsemen in Afghanistan and Mongolia to the dancing horses of Mali and the mounted Oromo spearmen of Ethiopia, Bob tracks down gilgit polo, visits the Ethiopian national stud, watches cirit and tent-pegging. His journey takes him to such exotic places as Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Iran and Pakistan and Mongolia.

New books for 2018
New books for 2018

E-books - available now!

E-books - available now!

We've added four of our fishing titles to our list of e-books and they will be available for download in April. For full details click here:

                


Easter treats

Easter … and our thoughts turn to hot cross buns! This traditional recipe is from the WI Countrywoman’s Year 1960 (15.99), which is a treasure trove of interesting recipes as well as many other skills and hobbies.
Hot Cross Buns recipe
*************************
8oz flour                                               1½oz fat
½ level teaspoon salt                           1½oz raisins
1oz sugar                                              ½oz yeast
1 level teaspoon ginger                        4oz lukewarm milk
½ level teaspoon cinnamon                 1 egg
2 level teaspoons mixed spice             Pastry crosses (optional)

Sieve flour, rub in fat, add sugar, spices and raisins; whisk yeast with half milk, dissolve salt in remaining milk, add egg (reserving a little for brushing buns). Place yeast mixture in centre of flour, allow to sponge through. Mix to a light consistency with rest of milk, knead and prove. Knead, roll out, shape. Put on a greased baking tray and prove. Brush with egg, cut a cross on buns with a knife, then put on a pastry cross. Do not make pastry too short in texture. Bake at 425°F.

Spring is here at last!

Spring is here at last!

Our author of The Hare and later, The Rabbit, Jill Mason has a feature on rabbits in the April edition of BBC Countryfile magazine. The article is about the curious history of Britain's rabbits and how they have shaped our landscape and lives – much of which is taken from her book The Rabbit.

Rabbits and hares are very much a part of our countryside, not only the landscape but also our myths and legends. Boxing hares will be seen in the fields from this month onwards, as a female fights off the unwanted attentions of a buck (see photo above from The Hare).

As we approach Easter, have you ever wondered what 'Easter bunnies' have to do with Easter? In pre-Christian times, Eostre was the pagan goddess of spring and was said to lay an egg (a symbol of fertility) but before it could be reborn, the hare had to die. It was therefore hunted and sacrificed at the vernal equinox, 21 March. Christianity retained the symbolism of this festival, but made its mark by changing the ‘pagan’ hare to a rabbit and hence the often slightly confusing Easter bunny and Easter eggs of today.

Spring is here at last!

Merlin Unwin Books April Special Offer

Whether you live in the town or the countryside, you're never far from an ancient rabbit warren. To discover the nearest one to you and to learn everything worth knowing about rabbits, The Rabbit by Jill Mason is on special offer from now until the end of April. This beautiful full-colour, large format hardback normally retails at £20 but you can buy it through our website for just £14 plus p&p!

Merlin Unwin Books April Special Offer

From A Shropshire Lad by A E Housman (£20). Photo by Gareth Thomas

 

X

MARCH


The Sun at noon to higher air,
Unharnessing the silver Pair
That late before his chariot swam,
Rides on the gold wool of the Ram.

So braver notes the storm-cock sings
To start the rusted wheel of things,
And brutes in field and brutes in pen
Leap that the world goes round again.

The boys are up the woods with day
To fetch the daffodils away,
And home at noonday from the hills
They bring no dearth of daffodils.

Afield for palms the girls repair,
And sure enough the palms are there,
And each will find by hedge or pond
Her waving silver-tufted wand.

In farm and field through all the shire
The eye beholds the heart’s desire;
Ah, let not only mine be vain,
For lovers should be loved again.

 


French language editions

French language editions

In May 2017 we announced that we had sold French language rights for Nymphing – the New Way and Tying Flies with CDC to Editions du gerfaut. We were delighted to receive finished copies of both books this week.


Venison recipe success

Venison recipe success

Aaron Silverman, President of SCB Distributors who distribute our books in the USA, is a big fan of Jose Souto's Venison – the game larder. Aaron recently bought a venison loin and made this feast using several recipes from the book: Venison cooked in a spiced salt crust, blueberry compote, braised chicory, potatoes colcannon and a salad of shaved beets, radishes, orange slices and brussel sprouts!


       


Herb-rolled venison cannon with girolle mushrooms

While Jose Souto is putting the finishing touches to his feathered game recipes for Feathers – the Game Larder (published August 2018), here is a delicious one from his best-seller Venison, the Game Larder​, to keep you going through the winter.

Herb-rolled venison cannon with girolle mushrooms
Herb-rolled venison cannon with girolle mushrooms

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

Offer of the month

Offer of the month


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