John Alec Baker (1926 – 1987) wrote just two books – The Peregrine in 1967 and The Hill of Summer in 1969.
In January 2018, The Peregrine was selected as one of 10 books to be voted on by the public to find the UK’s favourite all-time book about nature. It was selected by a panel set up by the Arts and Humanities Research Council see the AHRC website. Unfortunately, The Peregrine failed to make the top three which was headed by Chris Packham’s Fingers in the Sparkle Jar. An article about the result is on the AHRC website.
Many readers and critics believe that they are among the best books on nature written in the twentieth century.
This website seeks to provide:
In 2010, both The Peregrine and The Hill of Summer were published in a combined volume by Collins, together with extracts from Baker’s diaries. This edition also includes extensive biographical information about Baker by Mark Cocker and John Fanshawe. A resized edition was published in 2015. To mark the fiftieth anniversary of the first publication of The Peregrine in 1967, a new edition was published (ISBN 978-0008216214) in 2017. This edition includes a new ‘afterword’ by Robert Macfarlane.
Our understanding of J A Baker has been greatly increased by the publishing in October 2017 of My House of Sky by Hetty Saunders. As well as a very well researched biography, the book includes a selection of his poetry, an introduction by John Fanshawe to, and photographs of, items in the J A Baker Archive at the University of Essex and photographs of locations in Baker Country by Christopher Matthews. My House of Sky is published by Little Toller Books and is a must for anyone with an interest in J A Baker – ISBN 978-1-908213-49-5