BBC Radio 4 - Start the Week, Vikram Seth, Nick Davies, Olivia Lang, Nick Groom
Nick Groom regularly appears on the radio:
▶ BBC Radio 6 Music - Cerys on 6, Professor Nick Groom joins Cerys, Nick Groom chats to Cerys
He is a professor at the University of Exeter:
Professor Nick Groom - English - University of Exeter
And it was there that Rik Mayall was nominated for an honorary degree:
Featured news - Rik Mayall - a tribute - University of Exeter
Nick Groom - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Prof Groom heads the The Exeter Centre for Literatures of Identity, Place and Sustainability (ECLIPSE):
Nick Groom has brought out a book:
he Seasons: An Elegy for the Passing of the Year, by Nick Groom, Atlantic Books
Whether it’s cheese-rolling or frost fairs, folk songs or cuckoo days, interest in England’s traditions is on the rise. With increasing globalisation has come a counter-swing towards localism, driven by a fear that we are losing track of what makes one place different to another and forgetting our connection to a more rural past. The publishing industry has not been slow to react, and several books in recent years have attempted to collect together ancient seasonal customs, including The English Year by folk historian Steve Roud, Mummers, Maypoles and Milkmaids by Sarah Hannant and the wonderful England In Particular by Sue Clifford and Angela King.
Joining them now is academic and critic Nick Groom’s scholarly book The Seasons, which, as well as covering local traditions and folk history relating to the English calendar, includes discussions of the seasons’ depiction in literature, some weather lore and a little natural history. His stated aim is hortative: in the face of climate change, local homogenisation and galloping species loss, he wants culture to be “enlisted in the defence of the environment” and used “to repossess it, if you will – by conserving, maintaining, reviving and also inventing traditions that celebrate both the seasons and the calendrical year, and our place within them”.
For wildlife fans and countryphiles it can be hard not to feel pessimistic about the times we live in, and from this perspective any attempt to reconnect people with nature and the seasons is to be welcomed. But despite its title, The Seasons isn’t about how spring, summer, autumn and winter look, sound and smell, or their role in our lives today. Instead it’s about their place in literature, folklore and history – because behind it is a sense that modern society has gone astray, and that the answers we need lie firmly in our past.
Book review: ‘The Seasons’ by Nick Groom - FT.com
The Seasons: an Elegy for the Passing of the Year by Nick Groom – review
Groom is a genial, likable author; no doubt he would love to see us all getting into quaint outfits and galloping off to pageants, but he seems aware that this is not going to happen. Most village greens are safe from flaming straw bears for the foreseeable future. The reason is simple: we are no longer a predominantly agricultural society, so we no longer see ourselves as being so utterly at the mercy of bad weather and failed harvests (even if in fact we are).
But I have to applaud when Groom urges the deployment of rural culture to help defend the environment. Bringing back a Mayday festival once it's lost is easy compared to reviving the songs of the wood warbler, turtle dove, willow tit, yellow wagtail and the loud-singing cuckoo – all in drastic decline according to the RSPB's latest State of the UK's Birds report. Mayday merriment in the bushes would not be the same without them.
I also like his idea of celebrating St George's Day by going out to plant one of the 2,000 or more English varieties of apple tree instead of waving a flag. He reminds us that we move forward best by looking back, at least occasionally – by remembering where we come from, even if we cannot or would not want to go back there full-time.
I'm also cheered by the excuse he gave me for not taking the Christmas decorations down promptly. I always thought it was bad luck to leave them up after Twelfth Night, but this is a Victorian idea designed, Groom suggests, to get everyone back to work. Earlier folk left their decorative boughs and conifer sprigs around the house well into February. This brightened up the bleakest months, kept cheery times going until spring was again in sight, and tied up the seasons in a circle. Sounds a jolly good idea.The Seasons: an Elegy for the Passing of the Year by Nick Groom – review | Books | The Guardian
A Political Edge to the Landscape of the English Calendar - Caught by the River