History isn’t so much about the passage of time as the study of change—how did we get from then to now, from there to here? To write the history of birds and people, you can look at how they’ve changed us, or you can look at how we’ve changed them. This book seeks to do the second thing; this is a book about our place in their history.
“It’s not like anything else that I know of, not like how other people are writing about birds right now.” —Stephen Rutt
“A marvelously unsettling book… carries us into the strange and humbling timescales and lives of birds, revealing our own history in a startling new light.” —David George Haskell
“A formidable piece of work. Extremely well written, with a dazzling lexicon and a roadrunner pace that can turn on a sixpence.” —Tim Dee
“Fresh and compelling… has the mood-music soundtrack that blights so much nature writing turned to mute.” —John Bevis
Richard Smyth is a writer and critic. His work appears regularly in the New Statesman, the Guardian and the Times Literary Supplement, and his books include A Sweet, Wild Note: What we hear when the birds sing (2017). He lives with his family in Shipley, West Yorkshire.