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Academic & Professional Books  Botany  Vascular Plants  Vascular Plants: General

The Poppy A History of Conflict, Loss, Remembrance & Redemption

By: Nicholas J Saunders(Author)
309 pages, 8 plates with colour & b/w photos and colour illustrations
The Poppy
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  • The Poppy ISBN: 9781780744049 Paperback Apr 2014 Usually dispatched within 6 days
  • The Poppy ISBN: 9781851687053 Hardback Oct 2013 Out of Print #186503
Selected version: £9.99
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About this book

Please note: the hardrback edition is subtitled "A Cultural History from Ancient Egypt to Flanders Fields to Afghanistan".

In the aftermath of the horrific trench warfare of the First World War, the poppy – sprouting across the killing fields of France and Belgium, then immortalised in John McCrae's moving poem – became a worldwide icon. Yet the poppy has a longer history, as the tell-tale sign of human cultivation of the land, of the ravages of war and of the desire to escape the earthly realm through inspired Romantic opium dreams or the grim reality of morphine drips. This is a story spanning three thousand years, from the ancient Egyptian fights over prized medicinal potions to the addicted veterans returning home from the American Civil War, from the British political machinations during the Opium Wars with China to the struggle to end Afghanistan's tribal narcotics trade. Through it all, there stands the transformative poppy.

Nicholas J. Saunders brings us the definitive history of this ever-enduring but humble flower of the fields, a story that is at turns tragic, eye-opening and, most essentially, life-affirming – a gift to us all.

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Nicholas J. Saunders is the author of more than twenty books and dozens of articles on archaeology and anthropology for publications including New Scientist and Nature, and has appeared on television documentaries made by the BBC and National Geographic, as well as an international range of independent television companies.

By: Nicholas J Saunders(Author)
309 pages, 8 plates with colour & b/w photos and colour illustrations
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