A Human History from Hannibal to Heidi and Beyond
Stephen O’Shea overcomes his fear of heights to crest the high Alpine passes and explore the history of the ‘fearsome, gargantuan intrusion of stone inconveniently located not at the edge but square in the middle of Europe’. Travelling west to east, from Lake Geneva to Trieste, he tells the stories of the armies, Crusaders, pilgrims and traders who have crossed the mountains; how the Alps inspired the Romantics, mountaineers and engineers; and how its 1,599 peaks have divided Europe’s languages, cuisine, culture, religion and history.
Painters, Ploughmen and Places
This blend of history, nature writing and memoir examines how people have responded to the land from the 18th century to the present day, including the Romantic poets’ fascination with the Lake District, and the more practical considerations of the agricultural improvers. Anna Pavord celebrates the beauty of the British landscape, considers how it has affected and inspired its inhabitants, and explores the ways in which a sense of place can help to define cultural identity.
A Vision of Countryside
From high moorland to shingled coast, the nature blogger Jan Wiltshire explores the landscape and wildlife of her home county. Detailed photographs capture rugged fells and wind-blasted trees, rare orchids, redstarts and skylarks, a cuckoo on Scout Scar, and the scarce natterjack toad in the Duddon Estuary, while the accompanying text inspires us to engage with, value and preserve the natural world.
The Enlightenment's Natural Historian
An outstanding artist and natural historian, James Sowerby (1757–1822) was unusual in being his own researcher, writer, illustrator and publisher – and in being an artisan. This first full biography of Sowerby illuminates his contemporary world of natural scientists and is illustrated with his very fine engravings, including works from the great Flora Graeca; from Exotic Botany, which featured specimens sent from places as far-flung as Australia, Nepal and the Caribbean; and from books on fungi, fossils and minerals.
The Natural History of the Bible
A Guide for Bible Readers and Naturalists
The Bible abounds in references to plants and animals, from the fruit trees and snake in the Garden of Eden to Revelation’s visions of terrifying beasts. This guide to the flora and fauna of the Holy Land links these biblical references with the species that are still visible in today’s landscapes. It also shows how examples from nature were used figuratively in spiritual guidance aimed at an audience with everyday experience of the region’s wide range of habitats.
Walking the Himalayas
For six months, Wood and his guides trekked along the foothills of the Himalayas, through Afghanistan, Kashmir and Nepal. His account of the 1,700-mile journey explores the region’s history, politics and the lives of its people, including yak-herders, separatist fighters, Buddhist monks and blood-drinking shamans. Off-mint.
The Art of the First Fleet
Images of Nature
With no official naturalist travelling with the First Fleet, landscape artist turned convict, Thomas Watling, produced many of the watercolours and drawings in this collection. Depicting alien landscapes, flora and fauna and the undeveloped Sydney Cove, these images offer a detailed insight into the lifestyle of the indigenous population.
The Natural History of Selborne
Gilbert White (1720–1798) compiled this famous book from his letters to two other naturalists, a common way of writing scientific works at the time. What was so original and appealing about White’s natural history was its personal, even poetic approach, using all the senses to observe nature. The book has never been out of print since it first appeared in 1789; this attractive In Arcadia edition presents the original text with later woodcuts by Claire Oldham.
In 2009, walking the Appalachian Trail, Robert Moor began to wonder about the paths beneath our feet. How do they form? Why do some improve over time, while others fade? What makes us follow, or strike out alone? Over the next seven years, Moor travelled the globe seeking answers to these questions, tracing human pathways from long-lost Cherokee trails to the internet. This wide-ranging and thought-provoking book explores 'how we make trails, and how trails make us'.
Penguins, Pineapples and Pangolins
First Encounters with the Exotic
Nowadays, with the world’s knowledge at our fingertips, it is hard to recapture the sense of wonder felt by explorers when they first encountered animals and plants, people and customs, stranger than anything they could imagine. Generously illustrated with contemporary prints and woodcuts, this captivating book draws on accounts from Roman times to the 19th century to convey the amazement felt by Europeans when they first saw giraffes and bananas, Mongolian yurts and the statues of Easter Island.
An Exploration of Natural History
The Natural History Museum holds a vast collection representing the development of the study of the natural world from the earliest times. This accessible introduction to the subject tells the story from the theories of the ancient world and the scientific revolution of the Renaissance to the very latest discoveries. The well-illustrated volume also includes contributions by leading figures in the field such as Richard Dawkins and geneticist Steve Jones.
Earth to Earth
A Natural History of Churchyards
As protected sacred places, churchyards provide a tranquil environment in which wild plants and animals can thrive even when their nearby natural habitats have been destroyed. With photographs, newly commissioned drawings and passages from literature, Professor Buczacki celebrates this abundance of nature among the headstones, exploring the long history of our churchyards and describing the species most commonly found there, from mighty ancient yews to woodlice (nicknamed ‘church pigs’), graveyard beetles and lichens. Foreword by Lord Harries.
Things That Are
Encounters with Plants, Stars and Animals
Amy Leach’s debut collection of creative non-fiction displays a remarkable fusion of enchanting poetic language, quirky humour and factual information relating to the natural world and our communion with it. From lilies and peas, frogs and beavers to the moon, constellations and exploding stars, each of these 26 short pieces is filled with what Olivia Laing has called a ‘tumultuous, incantatory rejoicing in the astonishing multiplicity of the Earth’.
The Natural Heritage of the World
The Most Beautiful National Parks, Protected Areas and Biosphere Reserves on Earth
The world’s wild places offer a refuge for endangered species, an information bank for scientists, and a priceless gift to the human spirit. Illustrated with colour photographs, this book explores all 229 areas of natural beauty on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites, from Lapland’s Arctic wastes to the Amazon rainforests, from the Great Barrier Reef to the reserves of East Africa, and from the primeval beech forests of the Carpathians to the natural parks of North America.
Animals in Myth, Legend, and Literature
In this great survey of animals and their symbolism, Boria Sax has abandoned biological classification in favour of tradition, linking the animals not only to their natural habitat and habits, but also to human cultural values and practices. The resulting categories range from almost human (apes, monkeys, bears, beavers, porcupines and pigs), through tricksters, musicians, man’s best friends, beasts of burden and tough guys to divinities (owls, eagles, doves and, remarkably, the rhinoceros).
Secret Nature of Devon
Devon is a large county with a climate ranging from the subtropical to the subarctic across the diverse habitats of high moorland, woodland, pasture, estuary and seashore. This comprehensive introduction and identification guide to the nature and wildlife of Devon provides details of its bird, animal and plant life, and offers information about key wildlife locations and nature reserves in the county.
Wonders of the Indian Wilderness
The tracts of wilderness in India offer an amazing diversity of habitats and bio-diversity of flora and fauna, but these areas are shrinking and their wildlife is endangered. This magnificent book, the result of 30 years visiting and recording the Indian wilderness, is a call for its preservation. A wildlife photographer and conservationist, Bharucha presents over 2,000 photographs, with his own informative text, in two parts: the flora and fauna; and the national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. Slip-cased.
The Seventy Great Mysteries of the Natural World
From 'How did the Earth form?' to 'Human behaviour and saving the planet', the 70 chapters in this colourful survey of natural history draw on the expertise of more than 60 scientists to give concise, lucid explanations of concepts and phenomena as diverse as selfish-gene theory, the eye, asteroid and comet impacts and flu pandemics. The book is arranged in sections on origins, the Earth, evolution, biogeography and environments, plants and animals, animal behaviour and global warming and the future.
The tropical rainforests are the lifeblood of the planet, regulating the climate, producing oxygen and providing a home to over half of the world's known species. This large-format photographic portfolio celebrates the wonders of this unique environment in images ranging from close-up studies of plants and insects to portraits of mammals and aerial views. Many photographers are represented, while the text explores the rainforests' astounding biodiversity and emphasizes why they must be preserved.
Philip's Guide to Wetlands
The draining and development of wetlands, often seen as disease-ridden obstacles to progress, was a feature of the march of civilization from the Middle Ages; but in more recent times we have begun to appreciate their value to the environment and many areas are now protected. This guide describes the ecology of wetlands around the world, and examines their flora and fauna in detail with the help of maps, photographs and illustrations.
Although only about 12 miles in length, running between the village of Whitwell and Hertford, the Mimram is notable for being a chalk stream, characterized by clear, slightly alkaline waters, which enrich the surrounding land and provide a perfect environment for trout. This guide examines the history and natural environment of the river and the settlements and buildings along its course, which include a number of grand houses and parks.
A Secret Life of London's Waterways
Despite the islands of rubbish collecting in the River Lea as it flows through Walthamstow and Leyton Marshes, there is still abundant wildlife to observe in the wetland environment. This diary blends nature writing, social observation and memoir as the author makes her way through the waterways of London and out into the western suburbs over the course of a year, periodically settling for a few weeks to explore the locality.
The Dog that Survived the Titanic
and Other Amazing Animal Stories
Inspired by the incredible tale of Rigel, the Newfoundland dog that survived the Titanic disaster, this book is a celebration of animal antics. With over 500 stories including the cat that flew the world, the gorilla who learned sign language, the horse that drove a Cadillac and a dog arrested for skateboarding, this entertaining collection reveals the intelligence of our animal friends.