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Horatio Clare has worked on Front Row and Nightwaves, and produced Radio 3's The Verb. Born in 1973, Clare has written for The Spectator, the New Statesman, the Guardian, and the Daily Telegraph.
Offering a deep and abiding connection with nature and our landscape around us, this winter journal really is the most poignant yet uplifting, and emotionally observant read. Horatio Clare explains in his prologue that he is embracing winter, in order to raise a torch against depression. Declaring that “I will not lose touch with nature”, he says he wants to stop turning inwards, and start looking outwards. What follows is a journal that starts on the 16 October and travels through winter into early Spring. With a gift for seeing what others may have missed, for expressing and painting with words, Horatio Clare is able to take the reader by the hand and share the memory with us too. As he battles the darkness to be found in winter, he sends out a blazing light. I adored the snippets of new-found (for me) information, including that in Welsh lore dragons thrive as green woodpeckers. I have since seen a green woodpecker in their low, darting, rolling flight with completely new eyes! The Light in the Dark is so eloquently descriptive and beautiful, emotional goosebumps kept me company as I read, and oh, that ending! Highly recommended, this just had to feature as one of our Star Books.
Longlisted for the UKLA 2017 Book Award and Winner of The Branford Boase Award 2016. One of our Books of the Year 2015. This is a special and unusual book. It features some beautiful writing, and conjures up the sights, sounds and smells of the English countryside with such clarity that you’ll feel the damp ground beneath your feet, but it’s also a moving and thoughtful description of a young boy trying to help his father through depression. From his first breath Aubrey is a rambunctious child and his parents are quickly aware of his capacity to cause chaos. Unknown to them however, he has hidden talents - he can talk to animals. When his father, normally so cheerful, is weighed down with a terrible sadness, the wild animals help Aubrey find ways to help, and even advise him on how to tackle the cause itself – the Terrible Yoot. It’s a story full of tenderness and understanding. ~ Andrea Reece A Piece of Passion from Penny Thomas, editor, Firefly Press Aubrey and the Terrible Yoot by Horatio Claire, wonderfully illustrated by Jane Matthews, has the feel of a classic children’s tale, with one of the best, visionary endings I’ve ever read. The young Aubrey tries to run before he can walk and has crashed two cars before he is old enough to drive one, but when his dad, Jim, comes under attack from an horrendous spell, Aubrey is determined to save him. With the help of the animals of Rushing Wood and a little ancient wisdom, he takes on the unkillable spirit of despair itself – the Terrible Yoot! In his first book for children, Horatio Clare takes readers to the funny and joyful world of Aubrey’s wild and imaginative life where woods, moors and animals mix with home, parents and curious neighbours. His father’s depression, and Aubrey’s heroic responses are wonderfully imagined and told in what Michael Morpurgo describes as ‘a daring book, writing and storytelling at its best’. A review from Michael Morpurgo Well, this was a joy! Here is writing and storytelling at its best. Here is a wondrous tale, from a writer who loves language, makes music of it, frolics with it, who knows the wild world of his fellow creatures about him so well, loves this world so well that it is nothing for him to talk to the animals and listen to them too…Here is a tale that sweeps you along inside its magic, and its hope… A daring book, beautifully conceived, and supremely well written. Horatio Clare has the voice of a great storyteller. As I said, a joy, a sheer joy!
Magnificent. (Robert Macfarlane). Our lives depend on shipping but it is a world which is largely hidden from us. In every lonely corner of every sea, through every night, every day, and every imaginable weather, tiny crews of seafarers work the giant ships which keep landed life afloat. These ordinary men live extraordinary lives, subject to dangers and difficulties we can only imagine, from hurricanes and pirates to years of confinement in hazardous, if not hellish, environments. Horatio Clare joins two container ships on their epic voyages across the globe and experiences unforgettable journeys. As the ships cross seas of history and incident, seafarers unfold the stories of their lives, and a beautiful and terrifying portrait of the oceans and their human subjects emerges. Tremendous. (The Times).
For millennia, the seaways have carried our goods, cultures and ideas, the terrors of war and the bounties of peace - and they have never been busier than they are today. But though our normality depends on shipping, it is a world which passes largely unconsidered, unseen and unrecorded. Out of sight, in every lonely corner of every sea, through every night, every day, and every imaginable weather, tiny crews of seafarers work the giant ships which keep landed life afloat. These ordinary men (and they are mostly men) live extraordinary lives, subject to pressures we know - families, relationships, dreams and fears - and to dangers and difficulties we can only imagine, from hurricanes and pirates to years of confinement in hazardous, if not hellish, environments. Horatio Clare joins two container ships, travelling in the company of their crews and captains. Together they experience unforgettable journeys: the first, from East to West (Felixstowe to Los Angeles, via Suez) is rich with Mediterranean history, torn with typhoon nights and gilded with an unearthly Pacific peace; the second northerly passage, from Antwerp to Montreal, reeks of diesel, wuthers with gales and goes to frozen regions of the North Atlantic, in deep winter, where the sea itself seems haunted. In Clare's vibrant prose a modern industry does battle with implacable forces, as the ships cross seas of history and incident, while seafarers unfold the stories of their lives, telling their tales and yarns. A beautiful and terrifying portrait of the oceans and their human subjects, and a fascinating study of big business afloat, Down to the Sea in Ships is a moving tribute to those who live and work on the great waters, far from land.
Part natural history book, part travel book this is informative, fascinating , funny and atmospheric. Horatio Clare takes the reader on his journey following migrating swallows, who travel from Wales to South Africa twice a year, although his journey is probably slightly more complicated and involves a few more mishaps than the birds he is trailing. A lovely book that will entertain and inform.
Idyllic and harrowing by turns this is the account of a childâ€™s upbringing in the hills of Wales as well as a reconstruction of his parents relationship whose decision it was to upsticks from London to the country. This extraordinary way of life is an inspiration to us all and a vivid memoir of love and strife in such a remote place.
Heavy Light is the story of a breakdown: a journey through mania, psychosis and treatment in a psychiatric hospital, and onwards to release, recovery and healing. After a lifetime of ups and downs, Horatio Clare was committed to hospital under Section 2 of the Mental Health Act. From hypomania in the Alps, to a complete breakdown and a locked ward in Wakefield, this is a gripping account of how the mind loses touch with reality, how we fall apart and how we can be healed - or not - by treatment. A story of the wonder and intensity of the manic experience, as well as its peril and strangeness, it is shot through with the love, kindness, humour and care of those who deal with someone who becomes dangerously ill. Partly a tribute to those who looked after Horatio, from family and friends to strangers and professionals, and partly an investigation into how we understand and treat acute crises of mental health, Heavy Light's beauty, power and compassion illuminate a fundamental part of human experience. It asks urgent questions about mental health that affect each and every one of us. A 'Book to look out for in 2021' in the Observer 'An extraordinary book: deeply moving, darkly funny and hugely powerful' Robert Macfarlane 'One of the most brilliant travel writers of our day takes us us now to that most challenging country, severe mental illness; and does so with such wit, warmth, and humanity, that, better acquainted with its terrors, we may better face our own' Reverend Richard Coles 'A record of the bravest, most perilous, most intrepid journey that any human being can ever make. It is stricken, moving, urgent, crucial . . . A luminous, beautiful achievement' Niall Griffiths
In the depths of winter in 1705 the young Johann Sebastian Bach, then unknown as a composer and earning a modest living as a teacher and organist, set off on a long journey by foot to Lubeck to visit the composer Dieterich Buxterhude, a distance of more than 250 miles. This journey and its destination were a pivotal point in the life of arguably the greatest composer the world has yet seen. Lubeck was Bach's moment, when a young teacher with a reputation for intolerance of his pupils' failings began his journey to become the master of the Baroque. More than three hundred years later, the writer Horatio Clare set off to recreate this walk, following in Bach's footsteps. The result of this journey is Something of his Art, an imaginative evocation of what the twenty-year-old composer would have seen and felt on his long journey is a sustained visualisation of the landscape, light and wildlife of early eighteenth century northern Germany. Bach becomes Clare's walking companion, a vestigial but real presence, as he acutely observes the season and places he passes through.
*A Newstatesman Book of the Year* 'Nimble, vital, unexpectedly affecting' Observer Bestselling travel writer Horatio Clare joins an icebreaker for a voyage through the ice-packs of the far north. 'We are celebrating a hundred years since independence this year: how would you like to travel on a government icebreaker?' A message from the Finnish embassy launches Horatio Clare on a voyage around an extraordinary country and an unearthly place, the frozen Bay of Bothnia, just short of the Arctic circle. Travelling with the crew of Icebreaker Otso, Horatio, whose last adventure saw him embedded on Maersk container vessels for the bestseller Down to the Sea in Ships, discovers stories of Finland, of her mariners and of ice. Aboard Otso Horatio gets to know the men who make up her crew, and explores Finland's history and character. Surrounded by the extraordinary colours and conditions of a frozen sea, he also comes to understand something of the complexity and fragile beauty of ice, a near-miraculous substance which cools the planet, gives the stars their twinkle and which may hold all our futures in its crystals.
Shortlisted for the Wales Creative Nonfiction Book of the Year 2019 Rediscover the light in the dark... 'A treasure of a book, wonderfully attentive in outlook and generous in spirit.' - Amy Liptrot As November stubs out the glow of autumn and the days tighten into shorter hours, winter's occupation begins. Preparing for winter has its own rhythms, as old as our exchanges with the land. Of all the seasons, it draws us together. But winter can be tough. It is a time of introspection, of looking inwards. Seasonal sadness; winter blues; depression - such feelings are widespread in the darker months. But by looking outwards, by being in and observing nature, we can appreciate its rhythms. Mountains make sense in any weather. The voices of a wood always speak consolation. A brush of frost; subtle colours; days as bright as a magpie's cackle. We can learn to see and celebrate winter in all its shadows and lights. In this moving and lyrical evocation of a British winter and the feelings it inspires, Horatio Clare raises a torch against the darkness, illuminating the blackest corners of the season, and delving into memory and myth to explore the powerful hold that winter has on us. By learning to see, we can find the magic, the light that burns bright at the heart of winter: spring will come again. __________ 'The natural world has life and light on even the coldest darkest days of winter and that is Clare's salvation.' - Susan Hill, Daily Mail Christmas Books 'Magical, moving and deeply atmospheric' - Patrick Barkham A Guardian 'best book of 2018'
The Slender-billed Curlew, Numenius tenuirostris, 'the slim beak of the new moon', is one of the world's rarest birds. It once bred in Siberia and wintered in the Mediterranean basin, passing through the wetlands and estuaries of Italy, Greece, the Balkans and Central Asia. Today the Slender-billed Curlew exists as a rumour, a ghost species surrounded by unconfirmed sightings and speculation. The only certainty is that it now stands on the brink of extinction. Birds are key environmental indicators. Their health or hardship has a message for us about the planet, and our future. What does the fate of the Slender-billed Curlew mean for us, and for the natural world? What happened to it, and why? In Orison for a Curlew Horatio Clare journeys through a fractured Europe in search of the Slender-billed Curlew, following the bird's migratory path on an odyssey that takes us into the lives of the men and women who have fought to save the landscapes to which the bird belongs. This is a story of beauty, triumph, and the struggles of conservation. It is a homage to a bird which may never be seen again.
The ladybirdz arrive in Woodside Terrace, and Aubrey's Easter holidays get complicated. Ariadne the spider asks Aubrey to help. Something Must Be Done, but first Aubrey sucks the swallow stone which makes him small enough for daring flights on the back of Hirundo the Swallow and amazing adventures in the Web of Time and Space. Add in Bernardo the bee, Eric the earthworm and a whole conference of ravens, and you have the start of an epic tale in which a small boy and a house spider try to save the world!
From the slums of Cape Town to the palaces of Algiers, through Pygmy villages where pineapples grow wild, to the Gulf of Guinea where the sea blazes with oil flares, across two continents and fourteen countries - this epic journey is nothing to swallows, they do it twice a year. But for Horatio Clare, writer and birdwatcher, it is the expedition of a lifetime. Along the way he discovers old empires and modern tribes, a witch-doctor's recipe for stewed swallow, explains how to travel without money or a passport, and describes a terrifying incident involving three Spanish soldiers and a tiny orange dog. By trains, motorbikes, canoes, one camel and three ships, Clare follows the swallows from reed beds in South Africa, where millions roost in February, to a barn in Wales, where a pair nest in May.
At thirteen Horatio Clare was a boarder at a boy's public school, a privileged member of an apparently blessed generation. A rebel - one of those who detested the system, who thought it not just fun but right to break its laws - he was expelled for smoking dope. He became one of the thousands who gleefully ignored the warnings and set out, in search of experience and intensity, to slalom on the slippery slope. He was a truant in its original sense: one who beggars himself through choice, not necessity. From university campuses to the rooftops of New York; from Brixton basements to fear and loathing in mid Devon, through psychosis, mania and depression, from sanity to madness and back again, this is a portrait drawn from a generation that turned to drugs. And it is a search for understanding: why do we do these things, and what do they do to us? What were we looking for and what did we find?
When Jenny and Robert fall in love in the late 1960s they decide to build a new future together, away from the city. They escape to an isolated sheep farm nestled on a mountainside. It has no running water but it is beautiful and rugged. Their young sons can roam wild. As their flock struggles, money runs low and rain drives in horizontally across the fields, inside the ancient house their marriage begins to unravel. Wilful and romantic, Jenny refuses to abandon her farm. She will bring her boys up single-handedly on the mountain. Together they embark on a perilous adventure. Running for the Hills is astonishing family memoir - Horatio Clare vividly recreates his mother's extraordinary way of life and his own bewitching childhood in a magical story of love and struggle.
This exciting new series will bring together both classic texts and the writing of the leading Travel writers working today, which will inform and inspire the inquisitive traveller. It is an essential companion for anyone travelling to Sicily. Selected authors include: Herodotus, Patrick Brydone, Pirandello, Ann Radcliffe and D. H. Lawrence. This new series is not a guide of where to stay and what to do, rather it is collection of writing that aims to invest the traveller with a cultural and historical background to Syria, which will breath life and meaning into the sights, sounds and tastes that the inquisitive traveller will experience.