The Lost Words

Author(s): Robert MacFarlane

Gift Books | Poetry and Nursery Rhymes | Hardback Picture Books

Since The Lost Words publication in October 2017, this book has had a transformative effect on all who have come in contact with it. Described as a ‘cultural phenomenon’ in the Guardian, it has become a huge bestseller, has taken root in thousands of schools across Britain, won numerous prizes, and inspired many creative thinkers, young and old. It was shortlisted in 2017 as one of Britain’s favourite books of all time on the natural world (alongside titles including Tarka the Otter and Gilbert White’s The Natural History of Selborne).


The book began as a response to the removal of everyday nature words - among them "acorn", "bluebell", "kingfisher" and "wren" - from a widely used children’s dictionary, because those words were not being used enough by children to merit inclusion.


The Lost Words is a ‘book of spells’ that seeks to conjure back the near-lost magic and strangeness of the nature that surrounds us. It transcends age barriers inspiring children and moving adults with its wide appeal. It is a large hardback book – over A4 in size, and the gold lettering and eye catching ’charm’ of Goldfinches on the front cover give a hint of the treasures that lie within. Each lost word is conjured back to importance through Robert’s powerful spells. They are called ‘spells’ rather than poems as they are designed to be spoken (or sung!) out loud in order to summon back these words and creatures into our hearts. Robert explains: "We’ve got more than 50% of species in decline. And names, good names, well used can help us see and they help us care. We find it hard to love what we cannot give a name to. And what we do not love we will not save.”

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Winner of the 2019 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal

Robert MacFarlane is the author of a number of bestselling and prize-winning books including Underland, The Wild Places, The Old Ways, Holloway and Landmarks. His work has been translated into many languages and widely adapted for film, television and radio, and his essays have appeared in the New Yorker, Granta and the Guardian. The American Academy of Arts and Letters awarded him the EM Forster Award for Literature 2017. Robert Macfarlane is a Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge


Jackie Morris grew up in the Vale of Evesham and studied at Hereford College of Arts and at Bath Academy. She has illustrated for the New Statesman, Independent and Guardian, has collaborated with Ted Hughes, and has written & illustrated over forty books children's including beloved classics such as Song of the Golden Hare, Tell Me A Dragon, East of the Sun, West of the Moon and The Wild Swans. Jackie Morris lives in a cottage on the cliffs of Pembrokeshire.

General Fields

  • : 9780241253588
  • : Penguin Books, Limited
  • : Hamish Hamilton
  • : June 2017
  • : 368mm X 270mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Robert MacFarlane
  • : Hardback
  • : 1
  • : Jackie Morris
  • : English
  • : 821.92
  • : 128