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Adventures Among Birds

Series: Collins Natural Library

By: WH Hudson and Robert MacFarlane

Harper Collins

Hardback | Jun 2012 | #195385 | ISBN-13: 9780007466405
Availability: Usually dispatched within 7 days Details
NHBS Price: £19.99 $24/€22 approx

About this book

The Collins Nature Library is a new series of classic British nature writing--reissues of long-lost seminal works. The titles have been chosen by one of Britain's best known and highly-acclaimed nature writers, Robert Macfarlane, who has also written new introductions that put these classics into a modern context.

"Adventures Among Birds" is almost a manifesto for the life of birds. Hudson's experience of different forms of birdlife is prodigious, and he weaves a thousand small anecdotes together into a rallying call against indifference to the beauty of birds. From childhood memories of his first caged bird and his growing passion for them, slowly growing throughout his adolescence in Argentina, to the beauty of the diversity of birdlife in England, Hudson's delight at this particular aspect of nature is palpable. It is in his protests against the hunting of birds for sport that his love for birds is most clearly shown. Their behaviour towards one another convinces Hudson of their friendship, and his powers of observation paint a picture of interaction and emotion between birds that is almost human. "Adventures Among Birds" is a collection of detailed little pictures of the feathered world and why it matters. Told with an unrelenting passion for its subject, Hudson's book is sure to draw you in with its countless beautiful descriptions in miniature.

"Adventures Among Birds is one of three titles issued in the Collins Nature Library, a series of reissues of long-lost seminal works of classic British nature writing. The titles have been chosen by Robert Macfarlane, who has prepared new introductions which put the works into a modern context.

Hudson, born in 1841, grew up in rural Argentina but moved to Britain in the 1870s. This book, first published in 1913, contains a series of chapters which relate his experiences with birds, from his childhood memories of a cardinal on the pampas to, among others, the wild geese of Wells-next-the-Sea in Norfolk, and the birds in a Hampshire village. It is written in the extended prose typical of the time but nevertheless raises issues which remain pertinent today, particularly his opposition to the hunting of birds for sport. It mingles memoir, travelogue, meditation and nature writing along with fiction, as when he imagines being a migrating redwing Turdus iliacus or being in the Lincolnshire fens as they might have been 5000 years ago. Hudson clearly had a strong affinity with birds, perhaps more so than with people, and this is reflected in this interesting and absorbing read."

- John Clark,, 06-01-2013

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William Henry Hudson was born in Argentina, the son of settlers of US origin. He spent his early days studying the local flora and fauna before settling in England in 1874. He produced a series of ornithological studies, including "Argentine Ornithology" (1888--1899) and "British Birds" (1895), and later achieved fame with his books on the "English countryside, including Hampshire Day" (1903), "Afoot in England" (1909) and "A Shepherd's Life" (1910), which helped foster the back-to-nature movement of the 1920s and 1930s. He was a founding member of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).

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