The Book of Barely Imagined Beings: A 21st Century Bestiary

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Granta Publications, Oct 11, 2012 - Nature - 336 pages
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A bestiary for the 21st Century, comprising of 26 chapters, each one focusing on an animal or being from A - Z, from 'Axolotl' to 'Zebrafish'. It is a wonderful, eclectic array of 'barely imagined beings', creatures that exist but are often so strange or unknown that they could have sprung from the pages of a medieval bestiary or Pliny's Natural History. In each chapter the author digresses with great dexterity, humour and intelligence, using each 'being' as way in to exploring our precarious relationship with the natural world, to better imagine ourselves and the world around us. The book is also a passionate celebration of wonder and beauty, and a recognition of the world's 'ghost species', the walking dead threatened by extinction.

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The Book of Barely Imagined Beings: A 21st Century Bestiary

User Review  - Judith B. Barnett - Book Verdict

Common in the Middle Ages, bestiaries were richly illustrated descriptions of both real and mythological animals accompanied by moralizing commentary. The present volume, following that pattern ... Read full review

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So far I'm on the fourth chapter of this book and I am finding it utterly charming. It is a wonderfully researched bestiary about remarkable animals still alive today, combined with philosphical and amusing musings on their and our existence. Thank you Caspar Henderson for a wonderful eye-opening and entertaining read - a heartily recommended stocking filler for any nature lovers out there. 

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About the author (2012)

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).

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