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Book for February

When There Were Birds

By Roy and Lesley Adkins

When There Were Birds


When There Were Birds is the forgotten history of our connections with British birdlife. It is an original slice of social history, charting the complex relationship between man and birds, set against a background of change in our landscape, tastes, beliefs and behaviour

Birds were once important elements in this nation’s history, traditions and sports, and this enabled a rich legacy of literature, language and myths

An allegory for our times as it tells the story of how the bird population has been drastically reduced by a host of causes, they paint a vivid picture using historical sources

This book should help draw attention to what has been lost and the fascinating forgotten history of how all kinds of birds once played a role in people’s lives. No other group of animals has had such a complex and lengthy relationship with humankind. Birds have been kept in cages as pets, taught to speak and displayed as trophies. More practically, they have been used to tell the time, predict the weather, foretell marriages, provide unlikely cures for ailments, convey messages and warn of poisonous gases

Although very familiar, birds have often seemed strange, sinister and alarming. With their ability to fly, they bridged the gap between the earth and the heavens, and superstitions were rife because they were presumed to be linked to the supernatural. When There Were Birds draws together many disparate, forgotten strands to present a story that is an intriguing and unexpectedly significant part of our heritage

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