Monday, June 28, 2010

New Release: Winged Wonders

An informative little volume, Winged Wonders: A Celebration of Birds in Human History by Peter Watkins and Jonathan Stockland, is appropriate for nature and history lovers alike.  Divided into chapters for each different bird species, such as the raven, the goose and the falcon, this is a treasure trove of history about birds and their influence on the language and actions of mankind.

Though short, this is definitely not a book to be read in one sitting.  There is a grand amount of information that takes some time to appreciate, absorb and remember.  It's heavy on religious symbolism and biblical references which is no surprise as one of the authors, Watkins, is an Anglican vicar. I love that the naturalist vicar, a common character in many a Victorian novel, still exists.

If you are curious about the origin of the phrase "cloud-cuckoo-land", are looking for avian poetry or are wanting to know about the surprisingly numerous instances of pelican symbolism, this is the perfect book for you.
Swans sing before they die -- 'twas no bad thing
Did certain persons die before they sing.
--Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Looking to the skies for inspiration and knowledge,

Support our site and buy Winged Wonders: A Celebration of Birds in Human History on Amazon or find it at your local library.  We received a copy for review.


  1. I love natural history books, and I'll certainly look out for this one.

  2. to wish list this one; love the cover and i am crazy about birds and nature. thanks so very much

  3. Tracy - I really like that this one is broken down into small tidbits of information. It's very easy to read!

    Diane - Fantastic! This is one I think I will go back to regularly because there's just so much in it.

    Jenners - It's beautiful, isn't it? It would make a nice mural! (Of course, it could already be one and I would have no idea. I'm an art dummy.)