When There Were Birds: The forgotten history of our connections (Hardback)
  • When There Were Birds: The forgotten history of our connections (Hardback)
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When There Were Birds: The forgotten history of our connections (Hardback)

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Hardback 496 Pages
Published: 11/11/2021
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A landmark book that charts humanity's changing relationship with birds - from the ancient Egyptians to the twenty-first century

'A marvellously original slice of social history' Daily Mail

'The facts and folklore of birdlife are dissected in admirable detail in this handsome book' Sunday Times

'Roy and Lesley Adkins are masters of their craft' BBC Countryfile Magazine

No other group of animals has had such a complex and lengthy relationship with humankind as birds. They have been kept in cages as pets, taught to speak and displayed as trophies. More practically, they have been used to tell the time, predict the weather, foretell marriages, provide unlikely cures for ailments, convey messages and warn of poisonous gases.

When There Were Birds is a social history of Britain that charts the complex connections between people and birds, set against a background of changes in the landscape and evolving tastes, beliefs and behaviours. It draws together many disparate, forgotten strands to present a story that is an intriguing and unexpectedly significant part of our heritage.

Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
ISBN: 9781408713570
Number of pages: 496
Weight: 800 g
Dimensions: 238 x 156 x 48 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

When There Were Birds is a marvellously original slice of social history, a portrait of our ever-conflicted relationship with the natural world which we so abuse and which we cannot live without; a book beautifully balanced between wonder and warning - Christopher Hart, Daily Mail (Book of the Week)

A wonderful book. . . the perfect gift for Christmas this year for a bird lover. . . In fact, no, bird lovers are fine, buy it for someone that hates birds and see if you can turn them round - Giles Coren, Times Radio

This book is. . . not only a fascinating browse of all sorts of stories about the past, but it's a real revelation actually. . . it's really going to encourage you to think about birds and the part they played historically and culturally - Guy de la Bédoyère

An appealing social history of Britain that charts the relationship between people and birds [with] a lot of quirky information - Martin Chilton, The Independent

The book is absolutely packed with wonderful stories. You've really researched it to pieces. . . I hope that this book inspires and galvanises those that want to protect birds - Steve Yabsley, BBC Radio Bristol

The facts and folklore of birdlife, and man's equivocal relationship with birds, are dissected in admirable detail in this handsome new book ... [with] striking revelations - Roland White, Sunday Times

This is a substantial social history of our interactions with the bird life of these isles. . . With its wide-ranging, informative text, extensive notes, and commendably comprehensive index, When There Were Birds makes its own vital contribution to our perception of our relationship with creation, providing further stimulus for us to achieve an environmental renaissance - Richard Greatrex, Church Times

When There Were Birds by historians Roy and Lesley Adkins charts humanity's changing relationship with birds, from the ancient Egyptians to the 21st century - Choice Magazine, Great New Year Reads

The sheer breadth of information reflects every part of life on earth. And that's what makes it such a worthwhile read - Annette Shaw, Devon Life

Unusually for a book about nature, the species in question, in this lucid story of the relationship between birds and humans, is ours . . . An evocative chapter, 'Abundance', assembles descriptions of a British landscape so vivid you feel you almost remember it . . . There are no dodos in this book - Horatio Clare, The Spectator

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“A fascinating book, following mankind's' relationship with birds over the centuries.”

This is a brilliant book. As a bird lover I found it captivating to learn of the relationship between birds and man over the centuries. I am surprised there are any birds surviving when I see how so many were... More

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