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Drawn From Paradise: The Discovery, Art and Natural History of the Birds of Paradise Hardcover – 30 Aug 2012

4.9 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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  • Drawn From Paradise: The Discovery, Art and Natural History of the Birds of Paradise
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Collins; First Edition First Impression edition (30 Aug. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007487614
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007487615
  • Product Dimensions: 24.6 x 2.6 x 30.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 137,481 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

‘The book is as sumptuous as the birds themselves, a celebration of birds that have haunted the human imagination for half a millennium.’ Simon Barnes, The Times

‘Brilliant’
Guardian

‘A worthy inheritor of Alistair Cooke’
Telegraph

‘The nation’s favourite wildlife broadcaster’
The Times

From the Back Cover

From the moment Europeans were introduced to the birds of paradise in the early sixteenth century, their unique beauty was recognized and commemorated in the first name that they were given - birds so beautiful they must be from paradise. Originally they were thought not to have legs and therefore never to land. Still very rarely encountered, even in their natural habitat of New Guinea, they are still birds that elicit sheer awe in those who are lucky enough to see them. Drawn From Paradise will showcase the magnificence and beauty of the birds of paradise as they have never before been seen, with more than two-hundred hand-painted images and sketches by the men who originally studied them and luminary artists such as Jacques Barraband, William Hart, John Gould, Rubens and Breughel, to name a few. The art comes from the private collections of the two authors and has been rarely if ever published. Not only will the book feature the beautiful Greater Bird of Paradise-a bird that was originally believed to have been sent from Paradise, and was thought to never touch the earth-but it will also present more than forty other distinct species currently recognized-each representing amazing differences in size, shape, and color patterning.

The introduction provides a brief history into the discovery of these illustrious birds, from how they were originally perceived and idolized by the natives of New Guinea, to the arrival of Europeans, who were immediately captivated by their bright, vibrant colors. The chapters are ordered according to the sequence in which the birds representing the various genera made their appearance in Europe (thereby highlighting the books educational aspect). Within its pages, readers will catch a glimpse of these birds through vivid, highly-detailed painting, as well as learn more about each individual bird and genus-comparisons and contrasts between the males and females, as well as between the different genus's.

A tour through art and history, with a good deal of ornithology thrown in, Drawn From Paradise is not only a must-have for ornithologists and bird-watchers, but also a beautiful collectible for students, artists, and aesthetes. Its central idea is to showcase the breathtaking beauty of these birds and the enormous interest that still surrounds them even today.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Beautiful book, though I wish it'd had the full dust cover (available if you buy it from Waterstones) instead of the "tracing paper" slip with the title on it.
I got it to get it signed by Sir David at a special event (Talk, Q & A, then book-signing) which was well worth the effort as I've always wanted to meet him and shake his hand and a book-signing is the best opportunity.
If you're just a fan of the lovely birds themselves then this book is a treat, no photos, all art-work, and the fascinating history of their discovery. I personally would have liked some photos to counterpoint the art-work but then that would be a different kind of book. This book concentrates on the myths and misconceptions of history.
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By Sebastian Palmer TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 4 Mar. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having seen David Attenborough's several attempts at glimpsing birds of paradise in the wild, culminating in the success captured in Attenborough in Paradise, I'd become aware of Gould's illustrations of these amazing birds, and wanted to get a few somehow. This became possible, along with the work of numerous other very talented artists, both old and new, with this handsome publication.

I was able to get my copy signed by both Attenborough and Fuller, in our home town, Cambridge, which was an added bonus. I must confess that thus far I've just spent all my time looking at the pictures, and have barely read any of the text. So I won't attempt to comment on that! But I really got this for the artwork - as an illustrator and sometime artist myself, I'm happy that its all artwork, and no photography - and on that count this scores very highly: lots of beautifully reproduced and wonderfully observed drawings and paintings.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I remember as a child dragging my poor Auntie Doris around Tring Zoological Museum most Summer holidays. My favorites were the Birds of Paradise. The illustrations in this book lovingly recreate those memories. A must for David Attenborough fans and Bird-lovers alike.
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Format: Hardcover
This is written on behalf of my friend MANDY from Tunbridge Wells who has no computer:

I just want to say how proud I am to have such a beautiful book on my shelf. It's not every day you get to meet both your heroes. You have both given me inspiration for my own artwork over the years. I could not put two better people together. I was speechless on the day {I met you}. I found it very moving. It was worth the wait in gold. Best wishes and good luck with future books. MANDY.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Admittedly there's not much reading in this book but the art work is amazing and there are some interesting facts about birds of Paradise. The book itself is great quality and looks good even just sitting on the coffee table, everyone who has picked up this book have commented on how beautiful the art work is
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Format: Hardcover
This is the most incredible book I have ever had the privilege to read. It reflects the wonders of nature as it is expressed by those birds as no other! It is a vital part of the library of all of us who are forever fascinated by nature and all of its wonders. Kudos to Mr. Attenborough, thank you!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Beautiful book and very good value with stunning reproductions of the original paintings.

Would recommend to anyone captivated by the Natural World and Sir David Attenborough's passion.

This book would make a lovely gift. .
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a delight from cover to cover . The illustrations are superb throughout and the text is crisp and fresh . It is a niche subject, but anyone with an interest in birds would find it to be superb . Cannot recommend highly enough
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