"A spellbinding book... [Henderson] fuses zoology, literature, mythology, history, palaeontology, anecdote and art through 27 brilliantly executed essays... Extraordinary." - Guardian
"Henderson challenges our perception of the natural world, and reminds us of the huge effect we have on the environment... Enlightening and very beautifully produced." --Financial Times
"All of Henderson s essays are written in the same exuberantly learned vein. This book, then, is much more than a basic bestiary. Physically, it is beautiful, with gorgeously engraved frontispieces, ¬generous margins speckled with asides in rich red ink, and paper so creamy that it almost smells of vanilla. Politically, it is decidedly green, but as is the fashion with environmental ¬writing, Henderson prefers lyricism to anguished howling. He finds joy in ¬animals themselves ... On the evidence of this book, it s hard not to believe that bestiaries of our near future will have to be savagely expurgated, or that these beasts will be, to our children, no more than fables." --Sunday Times
"He can demonstrate not only the staggering fecundity of evolution but the fragility of the eco-system that supports such diversity... [His] extended paean to nature's creativity leaves us with a sense of unfinished business rather than inevitable doom"- Independent
"It takes a writer of Henderson's talent to fascinate us with tales of sponges and protozoa... This engrossing, fact-filled yet poetic book is an excellent attempt to understand the nature of the gulf between us and the species with which we share this planet... Magnificent." --Literary Review
About the Author
Caspar Henderson has been a journalist and editor with various publications and broadcasters, including BBC Radio 4, the Financial Times, the Independent, Nature, New Scientist and openDemocracy ( where he was senior editor for three years). He is a past recipient of an IUCN-Reuters award for best environmental reporting in Western Europe. He co-authored Our Fragile Earth (2005, New Internationalist) and was the commissioning editor for Debating Globalization (2005, Polity).