Pet projects

The Animal’s Companion – People and their Pets – a 26,000-Year-Old History Jacky Colliss Harvey, London: Atlantic Books, 2019 The author starts this ambitious book with a redhaired man and his red setter wearing matching bandanas and sunglasses, who made her wonder why so many of us feel so impelled to allow unutterably alien animals… Continue reading

Europe, from Cretaceous to Anthropocene

Europe: A Natural History Tim Flannery, London: Allen Lane, 2018, 346 pages, £20 Seen from space, much of nighttime Europe blazes with light, evidence of industry, urbanism, and an existential restlessness that has long impelled Europeans to impose modernity on themselves and the world. Australian palaeontologist-ecologist Tim Flannery, amongst much else author of The Future… Continue reading

The bounding, boundless main

The Boundless Sea: A Human History of the Oceans David Abulafia, Allen Lane, 2019, 1,050 pages, £35 David Abulafia’s 2011 The Great Sea: A Human History of the Mediterranean set a standard in Middle Sea scholarship, charting a course from 22,000 BC to today, combining careful detail with epic sweep. This dazzlingly ambitious companion-piece looks… Continue reading