Christopher Stocks



The Book of Pebbles, illustrated by the artist Angie Lewin, was published in early 2019 and is already in its third edition. Beautifully designed by Luke Bird and published by Random Spectacular, it makes a perfect gift book and has had some lovely reviews.

‘For anyone unable to walk along a beach without stopping every few steps to pick up a lozenge of quartz washed by the receding tide or a grey-slate skimmer, this book is an ideal companion.’ Country Life

‘I was hooked by this book from the first line.’ The Field

‘As someone who lives on Chesil Beach – perhaps the most famous shingle beach in the UK – Christopher Stocks is uniquely well-placed to talk about the visceral appeal of pebbles: the sounds they make as they are ground together by the waves and their physical properties – their “weight and heft, their smooth shapes seemingly designed to be held in the hand”…’ The Scotsman  

BookcoverForgotten Fruits, my first book, was published in hardback in 2008, followed by a paperback edition in 2009. Monty Don chose it as his book of the year, and it was shortlisted for both the André Simon and Guild of Food Writers awards.

Britain has an extraordinarily rich heritage of traditional varieties of fruit and vegetables, but how many of us know the fascinating and sometimes eccentric stories behind them?

Who was the Mr Cox, for example, who gave his name to Cox’s Orange Pippin, now the most popular apple in the world? Which conference were Conference pears named after? Where do Victoria plums really come from? What is so mysterious about the apple called the Bascombe Mystery? What role did beetroot play in ending the slave trade, and how did gooseberries help Charles Darwin arrive at his theory of evolution? Who started the uniquely British love-affair with rhubarb and runner beans? When and where was growing potatoes illegal? And could the Spanish Inquisition have been responsible for our carrots being orange?

Forgotten Fruits is the first book to answer all these questions, bringing together the history of Britain’s fruit and vegetables, from their origins – some of them ancient, but others surprisingly new – to their influence, over the years, on British society, the changing attitudes towards the food we eat and, more recently, the reasons for their disappearance from our supermarket shelves.

You can buy a copy of Forgotten Fruits here.