Birdscapes: Birds in Our Imagination and Experience

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9780691135397: Birdscapes: Birds in Our Imagination and Experience


What draws us to the beauty of a peacock, the flight of an eagle, or the song of a nightingale? Why are birds so significant in our lives and our sense of the world? And what do our ways of thinking about and experiencing birds tell us about ourselves? Birdscapes is a unique meditation on the variety of human responses to birds, from antiquity to today, and from casual observers to the globe-trotting "twitchers" who sometimes risk life, limb, and marriages simply to add new species to their "life lists."


Drawing extensively on literature, history, philosophy, and science, Jeremy Mynott puts his own experiences as a birdwatcher in a rich cultural context. His sources range from the familiar--Thoreau, Keats, Darwin, and Audubon--to the unexpected--Benjamin Franklin, Giacomo Puccini, Oscar Wilde, and Monty Python. Just as unusual are the extensive illustrations, which explore our perceptions and representations of birds through images such as national emblems, women's hats, professional sports logos, and a Christmas biscuit tin, as well as classics of bird art. Each chapter takes up a new theme--from rarity, beauty, and sound to conservation, naming, and symbolism--and is set in a new place, as Mynott travels from his "home patch" in Suffolk, England, to his "away patch" in New York City's Central Park, as well as to Russia, Australia, and Greece.


Conversational, playful, and witty, Birdscapes gently leads us to reflect on large questions about our relation to birds and the natural world. It encourages birders to see their pursuits in a broader human context--and it shows nonbirders what they may be missing.


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From the Inside Flap:


"An astonishing compendium brimming over with bird lore and theory, pertinent quotations and avian miscellany, all of it well-written and much of it amusing--a classic birder's bedside book if ever there was one."--Peter Matthiessen, author of The Snow Leopard and Shadow Country


"Reading Jeremy Mynott's Birdscapes is like having a leisurely conversation about a favorite subject with a close, widely read, and highly articulate friend. He manages to show us--rather than simply tell us--that becoming intimate with the natural world, and especially with birds, touches many aspects of our common humanity--from our passion for making lists to our heartfelt responses to color and music. I kept being reminded of that ecstatic space described by Vladimir Nabokov 'into which rushes all the things that I love.' A new classic in a rare genre."--Christopher Leahy, author of The Birdwatcher's Companion


"No stone is left unturned in this fascinating journey through the world of birds, birders, and bird lore. Much like the flight of a migrating swallow, it dips and soars--moving across space, time, and species from the Flannans to Kakadu, Jefferson to Churchill, and Red-eyed Vireo to Cushie Doo. Beautifully written and painstakingly researched, Birdscapes is a joy to read."--Nicolas Day, bird artist and ornithologist


About the Author:

Jeremy Mynott has been watching, listening to, and thinking about birds--and birders--for much of his life. He is the former chief executive of Cambridge University Press and is a fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge.

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Descrizione libro Princeton University Press, United States, 2009. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. Illustrated ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book. What draws us to the beauty of a peacock, the flight of an eagle, or the song of a nightingale? Why are birds so significant in our lives and our sense of the world? And what do our ways of thinking about and experiencing birds tell us about ourselves? Birdscapes is a unique meditation on the variety of human responses to birds, from antiquity to today, and from casual observers to the globe-trotting twitchers who sometimes risk life, limb, and marriages simply to add new species to their life lists. Drawing extensively on literature, history, philosophy, and science, Jeremy Mynott puts his own experiences as a birdwatcher in a rich cultural context. His sources range from the familiar--Thoreau, Keats, Darwin, and Audubon--to the unexpected--Benjamin Franklin, Giacomo Puccini, Oscar Wilde, and Monty Python. Just as unusual are the extensive illustrations, which explore our perceptions and representations of birds through images such as national emblems, women s hats, professional sports logos, and a Christmas biscuit tin, as well as classics of bird art.Each chapter takes up a new theme--from rarity, beauty, and sound to conservation, naming, and symbolism--and is set in a new place, as Mynott travels from his home patch in Suffolk, England, to his away patch in New York City s Central Park, as well as to Russia, Australia, and Greece. Conversational, playful, and witty, Birdscapes gently leads us to reflect on large questions about our relation to birds and the natural world. It encourages birders to see their pursuits in a broader human context--and it shows nonbirders what they may be missing. Codice libro della libreria AAH9780691135397

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Descrizione libro Princeton University Press, United States, 2009. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. Illustrated ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book. What draws us to the beauty of a peacock, the flight of an eagle, or the song of a nightingale? Why are birds so significant in our lives and our sense of the world? And what do our ways of thinking about and experiencing birds tell us about ourselves? Birdscapes is a unique meditation on the variety of human responses to birds, from antiquity to today, and from casual observers to the globe-trotting twitchers who sometimes risk life, limb, and marriages simply to add new species to their life lists. Drawing extensively on literature, history, philosophy, and science, Jeremy Mynott puts his own experiences as a birdwatcher in a rich cultural context. His sources range from the familiar--Thoreau, Keats, Darwin, and Audubon--to the unexpected--Benjamin Franklin, Giacomo Puccini, Oscar Wilde, and Monty Python. Just as unusual are the extensive illustrations, which explore our perceptions and representations of birds through images such as national emblems, women s hats, professional sports logos, and a Christmas biscuit tin, as well as classics of bird art.Each chapter takes up a new theme--from rarity, beauty, and sound to conservation, naming, and symbolism--and is set in a new place, as Mynott travels from his home patch in Suffolk, England, to his away patch in New York City s Central Park, as well as to Russia, Australia, and Greece. Conversational, playful, and witty, Birdscapes gently leads us to reflect on large questions about our relation to birds and the natural world. It encourages birders to see their pursuits in a broader human context--and it shows nonbirders what they may be missing. Codice libro della libreria AAH9780691135397

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Descrizione libro Princeton University Press. Hardback. Condizione libro: new. BRAND NEW, Birdscapes: Birds in Our Imagination and Experience, Jeremy Mynott, What draws us to the beauty of a peacock, the flight of an eagle, or the song of a nightingale? Why are birds so significant in our lives and our sense of the world? And what do our ways of thinking about and experiencing birds tell us about ourselves? Birdscapes is a unique meditation on the variety of human responses to birds, from antiquity to today, and from casual observers to the globe-trotting "twitchers" who sometimes risk life, limb, and marriages simply to add new species to their "life lists." Drawing extensively on literature, history, philosophy, and science, Jeremy Mynott puts his own experiences as a birdwatcher in a rich cultural context. His sources range from the familiar--Thoreau, Keats, Darwin, and Audubon--to the unexpected--Benjamin Franklin, Giacomo Puccini, Oscar Wilde, and Monty Python. Just as unusual are the extensive illustrations, which explore our perceptions and representations of birds through images such as national emblems, women's hats, professional sports logos, and a Christmas biscuit tin, as well as classics of bird art. Each chapter takes up a new theme--from rarity, beauty, and sound to conservation, naming, and symbolism--and is set in a new place, as Mynott travels from his "home patch" in Suffolk, England, to his "away patch" in New York City's Central Park, as well as to Russia, Australia, and Greece. Conversational, playful, and witty, Birdscapes gently leads us to reflect on large questions about our relation to birds and the natural world. It encourages birders to see their pursuits in a broader human context--and it shows nonbirders what they may be missing. Codice libro della libreria B9780691135397

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