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Distributed for Reaktion Books

Robin

A tuneful natural and cultural history of this globally renowned songbird.
 
The robin is a small bird with a distinctive ruddy breast, at once a British national treasure and a bird with a global reputation. In this superbly illustrated account, Helen F. Wilson looks at many aspects of the cherished robin, from its status as a harbinger of seasonal change and, in the United Kingdom, an icon of Christmas, to its place in fairy tales, environmental campaigns, and scientific discovery. In moving between cultural and natural histories, Robin asks wide-ranging questions, such as how did the robin’s name travel the world? Why is the robin so melancholy? Who was Cock Robin? And how has the history of the color red shaped the robin’s ambivalent associations and unusual origin stories?

224 pages | 60 color plates, 45 halftones | 5 1/4 x 7 1/2

Animal

Biological Sciences: Natural History


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Reviews

"Wilson magnificently weaves the history of the robin’s cultural influences with facts about the bird’s biology, migratory patterns, habits, and behavior. . . . Loaded with paintings, photographs, and literary references in classics like The Secret Garden. . . . This is an exceptional work for all bird enthusiasts."

Booklist

"Everyone's favorite garden bird is celebrated and explored in this wide-ranging, superbly illustrated volume. Taking in both natural and cultural histories, Robin addresses questions including why the bird's name has traveled around the world and why it has a reputation for melancholy."

BBC Wildlife Magazine

"Wilson's debut book, Robin, offers an account of this bird, describing its place in fairy tales, environmental campaigns, and scientific discoveries alongside some truly beautiful illustrations . . . Robin is a fascinating read and Wilson asks some interesting and wide-ranging questions: how did the robin's name travel the world? Why is the robin so melancholy? Who was Cock Robin? And how has the history of the color red shaped the robin's ambivalent associations and unusual origin stories?"

Yorkshire Life Magazine

“Wilson ranges delightfully over . . . robin lore that would not have occurred to me even to look for.”

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