The bedside book of beasts: a wildlife miscellany.

The bedside book of beasts: a wildlife miscellany. Graeme Gibson.

London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2009. Large octavo, colour illustrations, dustwrapper.

This book blends the best writing about lions, tigers, leopards, cheetahs, jaguars, hyenas, bears, wolves and other alpha predators and their prey with a wealth of extraordinary illustration. Among the writers included are: as Simon Armitage, Margaret Atwood, Walter Benjamin, Italo Calvino, Angela Carter, Bruce Chatwin, Gerald Durrell, Henri Fabre, E.M. Forster, Jean Giono, Zbigniew Herbert, W. H. Hudson, Ted Hughes, Franz Kafka, Galway Kinnell, Rudyard Kipling, Barry Lopez, Konrad Lorenz, Haruki Murakami, Robert Musil, Theodore Roosevelt, Leo Tolstoy and Laurens van der Post. Among the illustrations are: prehistoric cave paintings, the work of Audubon, Robert Bateman, William Blake, Mark Catesby, Francisco de Goya, Thomas Landseer, Rene Magritte, Peter Paul Rubens and Henri Rousseau, and outstanding wildlife photography.
The Bedside Book of Beasts is a captivating celebration of wild animals - both the hunters and the hunted - that draws on folk tales and parables as the work of well known writers, and asks fascinating questions as to whether without an alpha predator there can ever be true wilderness and crucially explores how the balance of nature was disturbed when man first learnt to kill at a distance.

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