Accompanying Radio 4's landmark six-month-long series presented by Brett Westwood, Natural Histories explores 25 unexpected species that have changed the way we see the world.
From cockroaches to coral, and from mammoths to meteorites, their stories are extraordinary and eye-opening: What happened when a pipe-smoking, gin-drinking monkey dined with George IV? What cutting-edge technology have we borrowed from beetles? How could giant squid sink large ships? Why should sharks be scared of us rather than vice versa? Why were butterflies once seen as evil? How have brambles helped solve murders?
Each chapter focuses on a different creature or species – the lion offers a starting point to discussing our relationship with power; coral with the idea of paradise; and the nightshade with poisons. Written by the award-winning team of Brett and bestselling author Stephen Moss, this translates into an imaginative and inspiring book, full of great stories. Packed full of fascinating science, history and folklore, Natural Histories brings you face to face with the natural world in all its wonder, complexity and invention.
Covering everyone from Monty Python to Harry Potter, David Attenborough to Damien Hirst, this is a must-read for anyone who is curious about the world.
Brett Westwood is an award-winning producer, presenter and naturalist. His acclaimed radio series range from Tweet of the Day (winner of Best Radio Series 2014) to Brett Westwood's Diaries. He is also a consultant for Springwatch and Autumnwatch.
Stephen Moss is a TV producer and best-selling author whose books include Wild Hares and Hummingbirds and The Bumper Book of Nature. The book of Tweet of the Day (which he co-wrote with Brett) won the Thomson Reuters Prize 2014. His TV credits include Birds Britannia, Britain's Big Wildlife Revival and Springwatch.
"Entertaining and often beguiling [...] The lively writing, enlightening anecdotes and frequent bursts of humour make this the ideal source of conversation topics if you run out of things to say while visiting the relatives."
– BBC Focus Magazine, Books of the Year