To see accurate pricing, please choose your delivery country.
United States
All Shops

British Wildlife

8 issues per year 84 pages per issue Subscription only

British Wildlife is the leading natural history magazine in the UK, providing essential reading for both enthusiast and professional naturalists and wildlife conservationists. Published eight times a year, British Wildlife bridges the gap between popular writing and scientific literature through a combination of long-form articles, regular columns and reports, book reviews and letters.

Subscriptions from £33 per year

Conservation Land Management

4 issues per year 44 pages per issue Subscription only

Conservation Land Management (CLM) is a quarterly magazine that is widely regarded as essential reading for all who are involved in land management for nature conservation, across the British Isles. CLM includes long-form articles, events listings, publication reviews, new product information and updates, reports of conferences and letters.

Subscriptions from £26 per year
Good Reads  Natural History  General Natural History

God Is an Octopus Loss, Love and a Calling to Nature

Biography / Memoir Nature Writing New
By: Ben Goldsmith(Author)
246 pages, no illustrations
God Is an Octopus
Click to have a closer look
Select version
  • God Is an Octopus ISBN: 9781399408363 Paperback May 2024 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 5 days
  • God Is an Octopus ISBN: 9781399408356 Hardback May 2023 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 5 days
Selected version: £10.99
About this book Contents Customer reviews Biography Related titles

About this book

In July 2019, Ben Goldsmith lost his fifteen-year-old daughter, Iris, in an accident on their family farm in Somerset. Iris's death left her family reeling.

Grasping for answers, Ben threw himself into searching for some ongoing trace of his beloved child, exploring ideas that until then had seemed too abstract to mean much to him. Missing his daughter terribly and struggling to imagine how he would face the rest of his life in the shadow of this loss, Ben found solace in nature, the object of a lifelong fascination. As Ben set about rewilding his farm, nature became a vital source of meaning and hope.

This book is the story of a year of soul-searching that followed a terrible loss. In an instant, Ben's world had turned dark. Yet, unbelievably to him, the seasons kept on turning, and as he immersed himself in the dramatic restoration of nature in the place where it happened, he found healing.

In God Is an Octopus, Ben tells a powerful, immersive and inspiring story of finding comfort and strength in nature after suffering loss and despair.


Chapter One: Gone
Chapter Two: Grief
Chapter Three: Pond
Chapter Four: Autumn
Chapter Five: Medium
Chapter Six: Early Me
Chapter Seven: Circle
Chapter Eight: Caledonia
Chapter Nine: Wilding
Chapter Ten: Beavers
Chapter Eleven: Levels
Chapter Twelve: Bustards
Chapter Thirteen: Anniversary
Chapter Fourteen: Healing


Customer Reviews


Ben Goldsmith is a British environmentalist and financier. Ben is a leading light in the rewilding movement in Britain and Europe, as well as a pioneer of green investment. Ben and his wife are rewilding their farm in Somerset, and Ben has helped to establish a number of environmental initiatives, including the Environmental Funders' Network, the Conservative Environment Network, Rewilding Britain, Beaver Trust, and the Conservation Collective, a global network of locally focused environmental foundations. Ben was a Director at DEFRA for five years, successfully advocating for a series of ground-breaking environmental restoration policies during his tenure, including the new Environmental Land Management scheme, the Nature for Climate Fund and the Species Reintroductions task force. The Iris Project was established by Ben Goldsmith and Kate Rothschild in partnership with the Global Greengrants Fund in loving memory of their daughter, Iris Goldsmith, a young environmentalist who loved the natural world.

Biography / Memoir Nature Writing New
By: Ben Goldsmith(Author)
246 pages, no illustrations
Media reviews

"From the deepest sorrow, the highest hope. Intensely readable, poetic, truthful, wise and wonderful, this will live with me for a very long time."
– Stephen Fry

"An event of unimaginable trauma is transformed into a message of beauty and optimism through Ben's passion for nature, which acts as his nurse, teacher and redeemer."
– Joanna Lumley

"Stunningly beautiful, immensely sad, immensely uplifting, this is a book of grief and joy and wonder and renewal."
– George Monbiot

"An extraordinarily powerful and moving journey through the darkest of griefs to the enduring love, hope and renewal of the natural world. A book of universal wisdom."
– Benedict Cumberbatch

"A brilliant new book. heartbreaking."
– David Walliams

"Beautiful and deeply moving, this will resonate with and inspire so many people."
– Isabella Tree

– Rebecca Hardy, The Daily Mail

"Goldsmith has written an extraordinary book, God is an Octopus, about his journey through grief and his exploration of the afterlife."
– Audrey Ward, The Sunday Times

"Ben chronicles the unfathomable tragedy of his daughter's death with the profound love and compassion of a bereft parent."
– Richard E. Grant

"An ambitious blend of memoir, nature diary and search for the meaning of life, the universe and everything [...] [God is an Octopus] powerfully communicates the capacity of nature to rebound."
– Alice O'Keeffe, The Times

"[Ben] does a quite astonishing job. finding incredible meaning in Iris's short life and the connection with nature he experienced after her sudden death."
– Bryony Gordon, The Telegraph

"A heartbreaking yet ultimately inspiring memoir of the personal spiritual odyssey."
– Anthony Cummins, The Daily Mail

"A compelling journey from the very heart of loss to the sanctuary and hope that only the natural world provides – emotive, raw and captivating."
– Benedict Macdonald, Winner of the Wainwright Prize for Global Conservation

"A tribute not just to a lost child but also to nature's regenerative power."
– Hephzibah Anderson, The Observer

"A meandering pathway through the thickets of grief [...] this is a devastating book, unflinching, but written with lyricism."
– Gavanndra Hodge, The Daily Telegraph

"Simply the most powerful and profound words I've ever read on grief [...] I clung to every sentence like a limpet hoping that time would slow down so I could digest and remember every word."
– Georgia Toffolo

"Remarkable memoir. This book will bring comfort and hope to anyone experiencing grief."
– Kate Blincoe, The Guardian

"A heartbreaking book, but also an uplifting book which solaces the heart."
– Tom Stoppard

"[A] moving account of how reconnecting with nature helped [Goldsmith] rebuild a capacity for joy."
The Guardian, Saturday magazine

"In this very moving memoir, the leading rewilder and green investor bares his soul to let us into the darkest moments of his most private grief [...] His themes of loss, love and recovery are universal, the story beautifully told."
– Ben Hoare, BBC Countryfile

"[Goldsmith's] personal experiences and thoughts feel vividly real to the reader [...] An extraordinarily powerful, optimistic and wise read."
– Hatta Byng, House & Garden

"[An] engaging book, part memoir, part ecological tract"
– Richard Hopton, Country & Town House

"A very moving book . [It] tore at my heart, as it will yours, but it'll also make you feel better and more hopeful."
– John Miles, Bird Watching

"[A] haunting meditation on grief and nature."
– Richard Askwith, The Times

Current promotions
Field Guide SaleNHBS Moth TrapNew and Forthcoming BooksBuyers Guides