The Once and Future King (#1-4)

The extraordinary story of a boy called Wart – ignored by everyone except his tutor, Merlin – who goes on to become King Arthur. T.H. White’s masterful retelling of the Arthurian legend is an abiding classic. The Once and Future King, contains all five books about the early life of King Arthur (The Sword in the Stone , The Witch in the Wood , The Ill-Made Knight, The Candle in the Wind and The Book of Merlyn). Exquisite comedy offsets the tradegy of Arthur’s personal doom as White brings to life the major British epic of all time with brilliance, grandeur, warmth and charm
Views: 2 093

The Travelling Vet

Jonathan Cranston is no ordinary vet. In addition to his day job in the Oxfordshire countryside treating cows, dogs, pigs and cats, he's also worked with an astonishing range of species around the world, including crocodiles, rhinos and pandas. In this charming collection he introduces us to some of his favourite patients, ranging from beloved family pets through to magnificent creatures of the wild.Whether microchipping armadillos, anaesthetising giraffes or advising the makers of the Jurassic World series on exactly how to operate on a velociraptor, Jonathan's love for his work and the entire animal kingdom is infectious. From the preposterous (castrating a sugar glider) to the poignant (encountering victims of rhino poaching), the stories in The Travelling Vet will delight and enthral every animal lover.
Views: 696

The Goshawk

The predecessor to Helen Macdonald’s H is for Hawk, T. H. White’s nature writing classic, The Goshawk, asks the age-old question: what is it that binds human beings to other animals? White, the author of The Once and Future King and Mistress Masham’s Repose, was a young writer who found himself rifling through old handbooks of falconry. A particular sentence—”the bird reverted to a feral state”—seized his imagination, and, White later wrote, “A longing came to my mind that I should be able to do this myself. The word ‘feral’ has a kind of magical potency which allied itself to two other words, ‘ferocious’ and ‘free.’” Immediately, White wrote to Germany to acquire a young goshawk. Gos, as White named the bird, was ferocious and Gos was free, and White had no idea how to break him in beyond the ancient (and, though he did not know it, long superseded) practice of depriving him of sleep, which meant that he, White, also went without rest. Slowly man and bird entered a state of delirium and intoxication, of attraction and repulsion that looks very much like love. White kept a daybook describing his volatile relationship with Gos—at once a tale of obsession, a comedy of errors, and a hymn to the hawk. It was this that became The Goshawk, one of modern literature’s most memorable and surprising encounters with the wilderness—as it exists both within us and without.
Views: 646

Gifted

A short story from The DPA Declassified Files. David is just your average man until a chance encounter with a young lady changes him forever.A short story from The DPA Declassified Files. David is just your average man until a chance encounter with a young lady changes him forever.Written by Pat Griffith, who brought you Trespassing and Linchpin. Set in the same world where Elbie. As entities made of pure energy, the Elbie must have human hosts to survive on Earth. For some people, being a host is a great benefit. For others, it is a nightmare.
Views: 607

Once & Future King 05 - The Book of Merlyn

This magical account of King Arthur's last night on earth spent weeks on the New York Times best-seller list following its publication in 1977.Even in addressing the profound issues of war and peace, The Book of Merlyn retains the life and sparkle for which White is known. The tale brings Arthur full circle, an ending, White wrote, that "will turn my completed epic into a perfect fruit, 'rounded off and bright and done.
Views: 562

On the Marsh

How the rewilding of eight acres of Norfolk marshland inspired a family and brought nature even closer to home. When writer Simon Barnes heard a Cetti's warbler sing out as he turned up to look at a house for sale, he knew immediately that he had found his new home. The fact that his garden backed onto an area of marshy land only increased the possibilities, but there was always the fear that it might end up in the wrong hands and be lost to development or intensive farming. His wife saw through the delicate negotiations for the purchase. Once they'd bought it, they began to manage it as a conservation area, working with the Wildlife Trust to ensure it became as appealing as possible to all species. For their son Eddie, who has Down's syndrome, it became a place of calm and inspiration. In Wildness and Wet, we see how nature can always bring surprises, and share in the triumphs as new animals - Chinese water deer, otters and hedgehogs -...
Views: 484

Mistress Masham's Repose

“She saw: first, a square opening, about eight inches wide, in the lowest step…finally she saw that there was a walnut shell, or half one, outside the nearest door…she went to look at the shell—but looked with the greatest astonishment. There was a baby in it.” So ten-year-old Maria, orphaned mistress of Malplaquet, discovers the secret of her deteriorating estate: on a deserted island at its far corner, in the temple long ago nicknamed Mistress Masham’s Repose, live an entire community of people—”The People,” as they call themselves—all only inches tall. With the help of her only friend—the absurdly erudite Professor—Maria soon learns that this settlement is no less than the kingdom of Lilliput (first seen in Gulliver’s Travels) in exile. Safely hidden for centuries, the Lilliputians are at first endangered by Maria’s well-meaning but clumsy attempts to make their lives easier, but their situation grows truly ominous when they are discovered by Maria’s greedy guardians, who look at The People and see only a bundle of money.
Views: 441

Ten Million Aliens

This fascinating scientific foray into the animal kingdom examines how the world’s creatures—weird, wonderful, and everything in between—are inextricably linked.Life on planet earth is not weirder than we imagine. It’s weirder than we are capable of imagining. And we’re all in it together: humans, blue whales, rats, birds of paradise, beetles, mollusks the size of buses, gladiator slugs, bdelloid rotifers that haven’t had sex for millions of years, and water bears—creatures that can be boiled, frozen, and fired off into space without dying.We’re all part of the animal kingdom, appearing in what Darwin called “endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful.” In this audacious book, Simon Barnes brings together all of the world’s creatures, seeking not what sets them all apart but what unites all. He explores arcane knowledge from the works of Darwin to James Joyce and David Attenborough to Sherlock...
Views: 58

My Natural History

"The animal kingdom came to my rescue. It always has done. I suspect it always will. It rescued me at Sunnyhill Primary School, it rescued me in my adolescence, it has rescued me over and over again throughout my adult life." In My Natural History Simon Barnes, like a modern-day Gerald Durrell, weaves together the story of his life via the animals and the natural encounters that have shaped it. From the greater horseshoe bat that transported Barnes from the dull classrooms of his youth, to the great whale which marked the moment he knew he was going to be a writer, from Himalayan Kingfishers in India, to majestic lions in the Luangwa valley, each animal represents a piece in the puzzle of Barnes's life.With its humour and poetry, every page fizzing with Barnes's infectious enthusiasm, My Natural History cannot fail to delight and enthral any lover of the wild world.
Views: 48

The Once and Future King

Once upon a time, a young boy called “Wart” was tutored by a magician named Merlyn in preparation for a future he couldn’t possibly imagine. A future in which he would ally himself with the greatest knights, love a legendary queen and unite a country dedicated to chivalrous values. A future that would see him crowned and known for all time as Arthur, King of the Britons. During Arthur’s reign, the kingdom of Camelot was founded to cast enlightenment on the Dark Ages, while the knights of the Round Table embarked on many a noble quest. But Merlyn foresaw the treachery that awaited his liege: the forbidden love between Queen Guinevere and Lancelot, the wicked plots of Arthur’s half-sister Morgause, and the hatred she fostered in Mordred that would bring an end to the king’s dreams for Britain--and to the king himself.
Views: 47

Rat Island

Rat Island rises from the icy gray waters of the Bering Sea, a mass of volcanic rock covered with tundra, midway between Alaska and Siberia. Once a remote sanctuary for enormous flocks of seabirds, the island gained a new name when shipwrecked rats colonized, savaging the nesting birds by the thousands. Now, on this and hundreds of other remote islands around the world, a massive-and massively controversial-wildlife rescue mission is under way.
Views: 42

The Book of Merlyn

A magical account of King Arthur's last night on earth.
Views: 42

Where the Wild Things Were

For years, predators like snow leopards and white-tipped sharks have been disappearing from the top of the food chain, largely as a result of human action. Science journalist Will Stolzenburg reveals why and how their absence upsets the delicate balance of the world's environment.
Views: 23