Birds and People

Birds and People

Hardback Jonathan Cape

By (author) Mark Cocker, Illustrated by David Tipling

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  • Publisher: Jonathan Cape Ltd
  • Format: Hardback | 592 pages
  • Dimensions: 226mm x 288mm x 46mm | 2,660g
  • Publication date: 26 November 2013
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0224081748
  • ISBN 13: 9780224081740
  • Illustrations note: COLOUR ILLUSTRATIONS
  • Sales rank: 13,906

Product description

There are 10,500 species of bird worldwide and wherever they occur people marvel at their glorious colours and their beautiful songs. We also trap and consume birds of every kind. Yet birds have not just been good to eat. Their feathers, which keep us warm or adorn our costumes, give birds unique mastery over the heavens. Throughout history their flight has inspired the human imagination so that birds are embedded in our religions, folklore, music and arts. Vast in both scope and scale, Birds and People explores and celebrates this relationship and draws upon Mark Cocker's 40 years of observing and thinking about birds. Part natural history and part cultural study, it describes and maps the entire spectrum of our engagements with birds, drawing in themes of history, literature, art, cuisine, language, lore, politics and the environment. In the end, this is a book as much about us as it is about birds. Birds and People has been stunningly illustrated by one of Europe's best wildlife photographers, David Tipling, who has travelled in 39 countries on seven continents to produce a breathtaking and unique collection of photographs. The book is as important for its visual riches as it is for its groundbreaking content. Birds and People is also exceptional in that the author has solicited contributions from people worldwide. Personal anecdotes and stories have come from more than 650 individuals in 81 different countries. They range from university academics to Mongolian eagle hunters, and from Amerindian shamans to some of the most celebrated writers of our age. The sheer multitude of voices in this global chorus means that Birds and People is both a source book on why we cherish birds and a powerful testament to their importance for all humanity.

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Author information

Mark Cocker is an author, naturalist and environmental activist who writes and broadcasts on nature and wildlife in a variety of national media. His nine books include works of biography, history, literary criticism and memoir. His last book was Crow Country, which was shortlisted for several awards, including the Samuel Johnson Prize (2008), and which won the New Angle Prize for Literature (2009). In 2011 he received a Society of Authors travel scholarship. He is a co-founder of New Networks for Nature, an eco organisation that asserts the central importance of landscape and nature in British cultural life. For the last 35 years his home has been in Norfolk, where time is divided between the county's celebrated wildlife, an organic allotment and the restoration of a small wooded fen. He is married to the arts professional Mary Muir. David Tipling is one of the world's most widely published wildlife photographers, renowned for his artistic images of birds. His many accolades include a coveted European Nature Photographer of the Year Award (2002) for work on Emperor Penguins, and, in North America, Nature's Best Indigenous Peoples Award (2009) for his pictures of Mongolian eagle hunters. He is the author of or commissioned photographer for many books including the RSPB Guide to Digital Wildlife Photography (Bloomsbury) and Penguins - Close Encounters (New Holland). His website can be visited at www.davidtipling.com.

Review quote

"This is a uniquely beautiful and engrossing volume, absolutely drenched in knowledge and love - and more loaded with narrative than any wildlife book I've encountered before. It has literature, history, philosophy, folklore, travelogue, biography... Anyone who is interested in natural history will want a copy." -- Jim Crace "Full of intense pleasure." -- Derwent May The Times "A sumptuous encyclopedia of humanity's relationship with birds." Sunday Times "Sumptuous and poignant... Birds and People is a beautiful anthem to the history and diversity of the relationship between birds and human beings." -- Ruth Padel Independent "Encyclopedic and spellbinding... The sparkling prose never flags, and it is marvelously illustrated by the photographs of David Tipling." Independent

Editorial reviews

This is a uniquely beautiful and engrossing volume, absolutely drenched in knowledge and love - and more loaded with narrative than any wildlife book I’ve encountered before. It has literature, history, philosophy, folklore, travelogue, biography... Anyone who is interested in natural history will want a copy.