312 pages, 8 plates with colour photos and colour illustrations; 30 b/w photos, b/w maps
Through the life of the horse, natural and human history meet. They have been our companions in work and leisure for thousands of years; as a species we have profited immeasurably from their resilience, strength and intelligence.
In The Horse: A Biography of Our Noble Companion, journalist and equestrienne Wendy Williams brilliantly brings to life the story of one of the most-loved animals in the world. She travels the globe to discover the history of our noble companion, one which stretches back fifty-six million years. From the streets of Vienna to the rugged terrain of Galicia, Williams demonstrates the horse's intelligence and strength. Blending profound scientific insights and remarkable stories, The Horse: A Biography of Our Noble Companion is a unique biography of the animal which has carried us across plains and into battle, and whose fascinating past and finely-nuanced mind are brought to life here in this masterful work of narrative non-fiction.
"A remarkable treasure chest of a book. Wendy Williams ropes together history, science and fascinating personal experiences to give new insights on every page. You'll never look at a horse the same way again."
– Nicholas Evans, author of The Horse Whisperer
"A truly fascinating and insightful read that brings the science of equine evolution to life with page-turning drama. Williams has presented a captivating and compelling account of the early history of the horse and of our great romance with this most majestic of animals. Thoughtful, thought-provoking and excellently researched, this book is a must have for every book shelf."
– Tamsin Pickeral, author of The Majesty of the Horse
"A magnificent natural history of this magnificent animal. If you get a thrill when a horse thunders by, you must read this book."
– Alexandra Horowitz, bestselling author of Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know
"The Horse is a scientific ode to one of the most charismatic mammals on Earth – it is an essential book and a loving exploration of our complicated relationship with the charming animal that we've variously hunted, tamed, and venerated throughout history. Readers could not ask for a better guide than Wendy Williams as she takes us to the badlands where mustangs still roam, the bones of their ancestors beneath their hooves."
– Brian Switek, author of My Beloved Brontosaurus and Written in Stone
"An enthusiastic history of and appreciation for all things horse [...] Anyone with a love of horses will treasure this book, which provides scholarly yet accessible insight into a beautifully constructed animal that has chosen to domesticate man, just as dogs have."
– Kirkus Reviews
"Whether you believe that you know horses intimately, or only admire them from afar, you will find Wendy Williams' fascinating natural history, The Horse to be illuminating. Williams is a charming tour guide through the history of the horse-human bond. This book will delight you and deepen your understanding of the ongoing love affair between humans and their equestrian companions."
– Elizabeth Letts #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Eighty-Dollar Champion
"For every equestrian, here finally is a book that explains in great detail the long journey that has given us the modern horse and all of its magnificent varieties. Wendy Williams's The Horse is full of love and first-hand experiences that make the book a most pleasurable and informative read."
– Frans de Waal, author of The Bonobo and the Atheist
"Riveting and moving. A beautiful celebration of the deep evolutionary fellowship between horses and people."
– David George Haskell, author of the Pulitzer finalist, The Forest Unseen; Professor of Biology, University of the South
"I have never owned horses, but reading Wendy Williams's fine new book made me feel that I've known them all my life. And that, of course, is her point – to explore not just the history of horses, but the human fascination with them. She makes her case in clear, compelling prose, warmed throughout by her obvious fondness for the subject."
– Thor Hanson, author of The Triumph of Seeds and Feathers
"Wendy Williams has done her homework. She has roamed our world of horses – past, present, and future – revealing cognitive processes, emotions, and behaviors similar to those of humans. What a gift. Reading [The Horse], I felt a kinship with horses and a deep yearning to bond with these marvelous creatures."
– John W. Pilley, emeritus professor of psychology at Wofford College, and bestselling author of Chaser: Unlocking the Genius of the Dog Who Knows a Thousand Words
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Wendy Williams has been a science journalist for more than thirty years, with articles appearing in publications across the United States. She is the author of several books, including Kraken and Cape Wind. Horses have been part of her life since she was five years old.