Snail.

Snail. Peter Williams.

London: Reaktion Books, 2009. Octavo, paperback, colour photographs, black and white and colour illustrations.

Reaktion Animal Series. For most of us, snails do not elicit feelings of warmth or affection. Apart from our repugnance at its appearance, our relationship with the snail has been influenced by the harm it has inflicted over the years on our garden seedlings. With this book, Williams wishes to change our perspectives on this little but much maligned creature. Beginning with an overview of our relationship with snails, slugs and sea-snails, Williams goes on to examine snail evolution; snail behaviour and habitat; snails as food, medicine and the source of useful chemicals and dyes; snail shells as collectible objects; and snails in literature, art and popular culture. The book concludes with a plea for a reconsideration of the snail as a dignified, ancient creature that deserves our respect, rather than one to be thoughtlessly squashed underfoot after a shower of rain.

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