The New Sylva

The New Sylva

The New Sylva – in the making

The New Sylva book is a detailed and sumptuous celebration of trees and forests, by authors Gabriel Hemery and Sarah Simblet. Published by Bloomsbury in 2014, it was released in the UK in April, and in the US in October.

The book is 400 pages in length and features more than 100 tree species, accompanied by 200 specially commissioned pen and ink drawings. Read reviews here.

This website was created by the authors to capture the creation of the book. Starting at the inception of our journey in January 2012, it features the writing of the manuscript, the making of artwork, insights into the editorial cycle and, finally, it covers our activities during 2014 – the publication year.

The New Sylva is now available in all good bookshops, and signed copies available to purchase online here.

You will find a subscribe link at the bottom of the page. Follow us: Facebook page & @newsylva

Home Blog About The New Sylva

Recent Posts

A selection of independent reviews

The New Sylva review in Sunday Telegraph 13 April 2014

We have featured extracts from a number of published reviews of The New Sylva, ranging from The Times Literary Supplement to The Lady, from the Royal Forestry Society to Gardens Illustrated. Here is a selection of reviews from independent bloggers, readers and others written over recent months.

“The clear and authoritative text is sprinkled with quotes from John Evelyn; it’s almost as if the great man is listening in on the conversation and offering gems of wisdom from the comfort of an armchair.”

‘The New Sylva is a real treasury of woodland wisdom, and I know I shall be dipping into it regularly, both for pleasure and for reference.   This is a book to cherish for generations – but I hope it will also be used as an educational resource, re-connecting our children with the lore and science of trees.”

The Hazel Tree – reviewed by Jo Woolf

“It’s a real credit to Dr Gabriel Hemery that this is actually an enjoyable book to read as well as an interesting one. Necessary information regarding biology and pests/diseases is balanced by history and folklore, the result is undoubtedly scholarly as well as being entirely accessible by the lay person; it’s a book that keeps you reading on. What really makes it though are the absolutely stunning illustrations.”

Shiny New Books – reviewed by Hayley Anderton

“An intelligent and gorgeous book. John Evelyn would have been entranced.”

“Beautifully written and illustrated.”

“A fantastic and informative book, a must for all true arboriculture fanatics and all who are interested in our nations trees. Very well written and illustrated.”

“Wow! I thought it was a steepish price but SO much work has gone into this – it’s not! It’s an amazing piece of work.”

A small selection of reader reviews on

If you know of any other reviews you think we should feature, please do let us know.


  1. Author talk at Surrey History Centre Leave a reply
  2. Review in Times Literary Supplement Leave a reply
  3. Review for the Royal Forestry Society Leave a reply
  4. Authors talk at the Chalke Valley History Festival Leave a reply