Books by Catherine Lacey, Adrian Owen, and Helen Humphreys
“it is an intimate act, tasting an apple,” writes Helen Humphreys. It can also be a nostalgic one. In The Ghost Orchard, Humphreys presents little-known stories about poets, artists, and thinkers who were inspired by apples. In 1792, Ann Jessop, then a middle-aged Quaker minister, returned to the United States from a visit to England, where she had collected the scions of various apple trees. Jessop had travelled with fellow minister Hannah Stephenson; Humphreys suggests that it may have been the shared experience of that trip that sparked Jessop’s passion for apples.
More than a century later, another American would develop a similar passion. Humphreys describes the long walks that Robert Frost enjoyed with fellow poet Edward Thomas in 1914—walks that often took them through the apple orchards of Gloucestershire. Decades later, an eighty-three-yearold Frost planted his own orchard, in part as a tribute to that relationship.
Humphreys began writing The Ghost Orchard when her own friend, with whom she’d travelled, became terminally ill. In seeking out the lost stories of orchards and the people who once cared for them, the author offers unexpected lessons on friendship and growing older.
— Samia Madwar