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John Wright is a passionate natural historian and the author of the River Cottage Handbooks Mushrooms, Edible Seashore, Hedgerow and Booze. As well as writing for national publications, he often appears on the River Cottage series for Channel 4. He gives lectures on natural history and every year he takes around fifty 'forays' showing people how to collect food - plants from the hedgerow, seaweeds and shellfish from the shore and mushrooms from pasture and wood. Over a period of twenty years he has taken around five hundred such forays. Fungi are his greatest passion and he has thirty-five years' experience in studying them. John Wright is a member of the British Mycological Society and a Fellow of the Linnaean Society. He lives in rural West Dorset with his wife and two teenage daughters. @johnmushroom / www.wild-food.net
Latin names - frequently unpronounceable, all too often wrong and always a tiny puzzle to unravel - have been annoying the layman since they first became formalised as scientific terms in the eighteenth century. Why on earth has the entirely land-loving Eastern Mole been named Scalopus aquaticus, or the Oxford Ragwort been called Senecio squalidus - 'dirty old man'? What were naturalists thinking when they called a beetle Agra katewinsletae, a genus of fish Batman, and a Trilobite Han solo? Why is zoology replete with names such as Chloris chloris chloris (the greenfinch), and Gorilla gorilla gorilla (a species of, well gorilla)? The Naming of the Shrew will unveil these mysteries, exploring the history, celebrating their poetic nature and revealing how naturalists sometimes get things so terribly wrong. With wonderfully witty style and captivating narrative, this book will make you see Latin names in a whole new light.
Transcaucasian boundaries provides the first insights into the geopolitical dynamics in this ethnically diverse and turbulent region of the former Soviet Union. The interplay between the former controlling powers of Iran, Turkey and Russia is examined, and the conflicts in Nagorno-Karabagh, Ossetia and Abkhazia are subject to expert analysis. The roles of Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia are considered in detail, their relative weakness having held back the transition towards democratic free-market entities of pluralist composition. Questions of minority rights, territorial settlement and the inviolability of state borders are central to an understanding of this part of the world; these issues are manifest all too violently when combined with the nationalist forces prevalent throughout Transcaucasia. All students of geopolitics and ethnic issues will find this volume a worthwhile contribution to understanding the complex geopolitical problems of a richly diverse and fascinating region.
Libya and Chad have gone to war with each other several times since Independence, ostensibly over their rival claims to the disputed Aozou strip. The author traces the ethnic, cultural and economic links between them over the centuries and shows how these connections contribute to present rivalries. There follows an analysis of Colonel Moammar Gadafi's aggressive policies towards Chad, which reflect his concern for Lybia's security and desire to increase its influence; his struggle against French influence in the region; and his perception of his country as a liberating force for fellow-Muslims in Chad and elsewhere. The author concludes that continued Libyan interest in Chadian affairs is unavoidable and that mutual hostility will continue into the foreseeable future. There are maps of the trade routes of northern Africa and the central Sahara and Sudan.
Libya and Chad have gone to war with each other several times since Independence, ostensibly over their rival claims to the disputed Aozou strip. ^IJohn Wright, senior political analyst in the BBC Arabic Service, traces the ethnic, cultural and economic links between them over the centuries and shows how these connections contribute to present rivalries.
A new book from the bestselling author of Why Is That So Funny? 'Masks are empowering... They enable you to take risks. They provoke you into working with the reckless logic of a six-year-old or the enigmatic stillness of someone wiser than you'll ever be. But above all, masks let you be you without your habitual limitations.' In Playing the Mask, award-winning theatre-maker and teacher John Wright explores and demystifies mask-work: what masks do, how they do it, and, above all, what they can teach us about acting. This book is a wonderfully accessible introduction to a fresh and innovative acting technique for actors, theatre-makers and teachers to use in training and rehearsal. A mask releases the actor to be playful, and playfulness generates ideas, finds meaning, develops characterisation - and is infinitely more fun than traditional training. Rather than a dry guide to making masked theatre, it is about, for instance, playing Lady Macbeth in Red Nose, or Hamlet in the mask of The Victim, The Ogre or The Fool, or even Romeo and Juliet in grotesque half-masks... All in the name of liberating your creativity and, ultimately, improving your performance. Extensively illustrated with a rich variety of masks, this inventive and pragmatic book is full of invaluable games and exercises drawn from the author's own workshops, his experience as co-founder of both Trestle and Told by an Idiot, and his pioneering mask and clown work in many professional productions. 'Brilliant, entertaining and accessible' --Paul Hunter, from his Foreword