I reviewed Helen MacDonald’s new book H Is for Hawk for New Scientist.
Whether it is a reaction to increased digitisation or to the expansion of urban and suburban sprawl, British nature writing is enjoying a golden era. But where previous custodians of the landscape were often tweedy scholars with the education, land and time to document species in dry tomes, today’s writers are a different breed.
Many books are now about the authors, their observational memoirs imbued with spiritual musings that attempt to make sense of the natural world, with animals providing succour during times of existential crisis. This is no bad thing – our emotional responses are as valuable as scientific pragmatism. The desire to protect, serve and understand previously persecuted creatures is one of humanity’s great attributes…
Read the full review here.