Drawn from paradise: the discovery, art and natural history of the birds of paradise.
London: Harper Collins, 2012.
Quarto, laminated boards, 256 pp. colour and black and white photographs and illustrations.
This is David Attenborough's journey through the cultural history of the birds of paradise, one of the most exquisite and extravagant, colourful and intriguing families of birds. From the moment they were introduced to the European mind in the early sixteenth century, their unique beauty was recognised and commemorated in the first name that they were given - birds so beautiful must be birds from paradise. In this unique exploration of a truly awe-inspiring family of birds which to this day is still shrouded in mystery, David Attenborough and Errol Fuller trace the natural history of these enigmatic birds through their depiction in western works of art throughout the centuries, featuring beautiful illustrations by such luminary artists as William T. Cooper, Jacques Barraband, William Hart, John Gould, Rubens and Breughel, to name but a few. Experienced ornithologists and general nature and art enthusiasts alike will delight in this journey of discovery of the world's most beautiful and mysterious birds.