'To see a hare sit still as stone, to watch a hare boxing on a frosty March morning, to witness a hare bolt . . . these are great things. Every field should have a hare.'
The hare, a night creature and country-dweller, is a rare sight for most people. We know them only from legends and stories. They are shape-shifters, witches' familiars and symbols of fertility. They are arrogant, as in Aesop's The Hare and the Tortoise, and absurd, as in Lewis Carroll's Mad March Hare. In the absence of observed facts, speculation and fantasy have flourished. But real hares? What are they like?
In The Private Life of the Hare, John Lewis-Stempel explores myths, history and the reality of the hare. And in vivid, elegant prose he celebrates how, in an age when television cameras have revealed so much in our landscape, the hare remains as elusive and magical as ever.
John Lewis-Stempel is the author of The Wild Life, Meadowland, Where Poppies Blow, The Running Hare and The Secret Life of the Owl. He has twice won the Wainwright Prize for Nature Writing, for Meadowland and Where Poppies Blow, and was shortlisted for The Running Hare, which was also shortlisted for the Independent Bookshop Week Book Award and the Richard Jefferies Society Award. He writes a column on nature and farming for Country Life and was the 2016 BSME Magazine Columnist of the Year. He lives on the borders of England and Wales with his wife and two children.