The robin is a small bird with a distinctive ruddy breast, at once a national treasure and a bird with a global reputation. In this superbly illustrated account, Helen F. Wilson looks at many aspects of the cherished robin, from its status as a harbinger of seasonal change and icon of Christmas to its place in fairy tales, environmental campaigns and scientific discovery.
In moving between cultural and natural histories, Robin asks wide-ranging questions: how did the robin’s name travel the world? Why is the robin so melancholy? Who was Cock Robin? And how has the history of the colour red shaped the robin’s ambivalent associations and unusual origin stories?
Helen F. Wilson is an Associate Professor of Human Geography at Durham University. She has published widely within social and cultural geography and lives in Newcastle Upon Tyne.