|Elliot & Thompson|
19 May 2016
I fell in love with this book from the get go just because of its cover, not that I'm biased about orange whiskery creatures, you understand.
But putting aside the glory of its cover, this book really brings home our love and loathing of this most enigmatic of predators. For some, it's a creature of magic and mystery, whilst for others its a source of constant misery as hen coops up and down the land are targeted on an almost nightly basis. And then of course, there's the altogether more contentious issue of fox hunting which I'm not going to dwell on, except to say that the book covers this hot topic with great insight.
I loved the readability of the book, combining fact with fiction, folklore and magic with cold hard facts, but always, what shines through is the author's commitment to telling it like it is, with no superfluous waffle , not overly fanciful , just a really interesting look at the role foxes have in our rural and urban environments. The detail is good, the author's opinions are clearly expressed and throughout the book are intelligent observations from specialist contributors which help to give the book an overall balanced view.
There's something rather special about this beautiful wild creature and if you've been privileged to see one really close then you get the idea of both their vulnerability and their utter strength. Some years ago, I was lucky to be able to see foxes regularly at play in the early morning and it was perfectly magical to watch the rough and tumble of fox cubs with an early sun glinting on their russet coats, which were a darker red than I expected. But to watch this fascinating wild creature relaxed and playful, delighting in the sights and scents of an early Summer morning was just stunning and it is something that I will never forget.
I enjoy reading books which teach me something new and in Foxes Unearthed, I learned an abundance of facts about Vulpes Vulpes which I didn't know, and that's where the delight of this book lies, in learning something new and precious about one of our very special wild creatures.
Best Read with...Cheese sandwiches wrapped in grease-proof and a pair of sharp binoculars...
Lucy Jones writes mainly about culture, nature, music, science, wildlife and the environment. She was Deputy Editor at NME.com and previously worked at The Daily Telegraph. She is the recipient of the Society of Authors' Roger Deakin Award for Foxes Unearthed.
Visit Lucy on her Website
Follow on Twitter @lucyjones @wildlifedaily
My thanks to Alison at Elliot & Thompson for my review copy of this fascinating book.