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An Exhilaration of Wings: The Literature of Birdwatching cover
  • ISBN: 9780141001807
  • ISBN10: 0141001801

An Exhilaration of Wings: The Literature of Birdwatching

by Hill, Jen E

  • List Price: $14.00
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Publisher: Penguin Books
  • Publish date: 05/01/2001
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Description
Birdwatching, like many leisure activities, was "invented" sometime in the late eighteenth century, and literature about birdwatchers, birds, and bird behavior positively erupted in the mid to late 1800s. Jennifer Hill has put together a marvelous anthology of these writings from 1750 to 1910; the quotations come from professional studies, belles lettres, literature, and the correspondence and diaries of famous (John Muir, John James Audubon, Richard Burton, William Bartram, Wordsworth, Emerson) and relatively unknown (John Clare, Florence Merriam) observers alike. The book is organized into 23 chapters, equally divided between categories (migration, nests, identification, bird history, extinction) and types of birds (raptors, hummingbirds, shore birds, city birds, etc.). This is certainly a book for birdwatchers but it also ends up being a lovely work of natural history, and the book's literary and historical aspects and its sense of community have an appeal well beyond that primary market.
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