Bugs Britannica

Front Cover
Chatto & Windus, 2010 - Nature - 500 pages
0 Reviews
From sea squirts to slugs to Swallowtails, Bugs Britannica is the third beautifully illustrated book in Richard Mabey's landmark series, a companion volume to the bestselling classics Flora Britannica and Birds Britannica.

Like those much-loved books, Bugs Britannica is not a biological guide but a richly illustrated cultural one, where British bugs are seen through the eyes of writers, musicians, artists, photographers and naturalists - from the great Tudor naturalist, Thomas Muffet (father of Little Miss Muffet) to Irvine Welsh's talking tapeworm in Filth - with vivid contributions and observations by members of the public, fascinated by creepy-crawlies of all kinds.

Taking British invertebrates as its subject, the book is structured along a roughly evolving path, from simple cell life-forms - amoeba, worms, crustaceans (proof, say the authors, of `just how far you can go on very little') - to bugs we all might recognise - spiders, butterflies, bees - and back into the water to meet the molluscs and `almost-fish'... It works so triumphantly because author Peter Marren has examined bugs in the dusty corners of our houses and gardens as well as traversing mountains, lakes, fields and the seashore. He observes not only the fascinating habits of the bug world, but also the eccentric behaviour of the human bug obsessives.

But, of course, the true heroes of the book are the bugs themselves: the nimble dicks, lady clocks, coffin-cutters and multitudes of others. From the Boring Sponge (its official name) to the Mermaid's Glove and Penis worm, via the Dark Crimson Underwing and Ruby-tailed wasp - this rich compendium of bugs is a must, not only for naturalists but for anyone who cares about the crawling, buzzing swarms which make up the estimated 40,000 species of bugs that live on or around Britain.

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Other editions - View all

About the author (2010)

Peter Marren is a wildlife writer, journalist and authority on invertebrate folklore and names. His books include The New Naturalists, which won the Society for the History of Natural History's Thackray Medal, and Britain's Rare Flowers, which won the Botanical Society of the British Isles' Presidents' Award. He was twice runner-up for the BP Natural World Book Prize and once for the Scottish Saltire Award. His other books include A Natural History of Aberdeen, The Wild Woods, England's National Nature Reserves and Nature Conservation in the Collins New Naturalist series. He is also co-author with Robert Gillmor of The Art of the New Naturalists. He was awarded a Leverhulme Research Fellowship for work on Bugs Britannica.
Richard Mabey is `Britain's greatest living nature writer' (The Times) and the force behind the Britannica series. Among his acclaimed publications are Food for Free, Gilbert White (Whitbread Biography of the Year), Nature Cure, Beechcombings and Flora Britannica, which won the British Book Awards' Illustrated Book of the Year and the Botanical Society of the British Isles' Presidents' Award. He also collaborated with Mark Cocker on Birds Britannica.

Bibliographic information