392 pages, b/w photos, b/w illustrations
Frank Buckland was an extraordinary man – a surgeon, a natural historian, a sell-out lecturer, a bestselling writer, a museum curator... and a conservationist, before the concept even existed. Eccentric, revolutionary, popular, prolific, he was one of the nineteenth century's authentic geniuses. He was obsessed by food security and finding ways to feed the hungry (The Man Who Ate the Zoo recounts his many unusual experiments), and by protecting our fisheries (he can be credited with saving British fish from commercial extinction). He was one of the most original, far-sighted and influential natural scientists of his time, held as high in public esteem as Charles Darwin. The Man Who Ate the Zoo is no conventional biography, but rather a journey back into Buckland's life, a hunt for this forgotten man. It sets Buckland's thinking and achievements in a rounded historical context, but views this Victorian adventurer from a modern viewpoint. It is both a rollicking yarn – engaging, funny and provocative – and a celebration of the great age of natural science, one man's genius and what, even now, can be learned from him.
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Richard Girling is an award-winning environmental journalist. For his work in the Sunday Times he was named Specialist Writer of the Year in the UK Press Awards in 2002, and was shortlisted for the same award in 2005 and 2006. He was Journalist of the Year at the Press Gazette Environmental Press Awards in 2008 and 2009. He has written seven books – most recently, The Hunt for the Golden Mole.