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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars21
4.4 out of 5 stars
Format: Hardcover|Change
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on 5 June 2013
Another gem from Esther Woolfson. We really enjoyed reading Corvus and I recommended the book to family and friends. As soon As Field Notes From A Hidden City was published, we got it so that we would see Aberdeen through Esther Woolfson's eyes. Her writing and insight, her powers of observation, love and understanding of nature make this not only an enjoyable, but important book.
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on 9 April 2013
In order to write his nature diary, Thoreau lived as a hermit in the woods. Esther Woolfson has written hers, while living with her family in the Scottish city of Aberdeen. This contrast shows how our perspective on nature has changed over the last two centuries or so. We no longer think of nature as a place but, rather, as a dimension of experience, usually present yet very easy to ignore. For this reason, Woolfson's Field Notes of a Hidden City is even more profoundly introspective than Thoreau's Walden. Woolfson looks at manifestations of the natural world in an urban setting, such as squirrels, mice, pigeons, crows, and granite in terms of personal experience, science, and history. Like Walden, Field Notes is organized according to the seasons, which, like the rest of nature, must now be rediscovered. The rhythms of the year seem to be present in the wonderfully steady cadences of her prose.

Full disclosure. I am a friend of Esther Woolfson. Does that make me biased? Maybe, but I would have written much the same thing if that were not the case.
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on 9 December 2013
This is a beautiful book and a absolute treat to read. It is every bit as good as 'Corvus', Esther Woolfson's previous book, and has been written with the same humour, wisdom and insight. It taught me a lot and made me feel that I am not alone in liking and admiring pigeons, rats, grey squirrel, herring gulls and slugs.
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on 28 July 2013
Love it all, it's a perfect book for anyone interested in wildlife of all sorts. I'm happy that she still spoke about Chicken and Bardie. I hope she writes more books, they are to be treasured - I even feel differently about slugs now!
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on 12 April 2013
Delighted with this --it is very different. I'll be buying more for Christmas presents!!
Any one from North East Scotland will particularly enjoy this wee jem!
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on 1 May 2014
This is an excellent book for anyone interested in wildlife, and is a real eye-opener on the survival of the many different species that live alongside humans in our cities. The book includes stories of particular individual creatures that play a part in the author's day-to-day experiences, along with her thoughts on the wider implications of our attitudes towards the animals she discusses. It makes for a very interesting and thought-provoking read.
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on 6 April 2015
This is a beautifully written book which will appeal to any literate nature-lover. There were times when I re-read a paragraph immediately - not because it was hard to understand, but because it was so wonderful that I wanted to fully appreciate it.

The author has an exceptional ability to combine an eye for fine detail with an overlay of human feelings and emotion.

Recommended.
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on 12 August 2014
A wonderful book. It actually makes me want to visit Aberdeen and the scenes and wildlife described in the book. The author is a woman of great perception and kindliness towards the living creatures that inhabit our streets, gardens and coasts. I loved her first book about the crows, starlings, magpies etc. who she allowed to live in her home when they were vulnerable and scared.
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on 29 July 2015
This is a marvellous book! I read years ago that every artwork is a self portrait. This book says as much about the author as the city of Aberdeen. I read her book on crows and wanted to read all of her work. This tome I enjoyed more. Wonderful, can't recommend this enough...
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on 22 October 2013
What a wonderful insight into the secret life of a city's wild inhabitants - beautifully written, elegant prose and stunning word pictures that leave images in your mind...I loved it
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