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Open your hearts and minds to the world of seabirds and the wild landscape of the British Isles in this thoughtful and eloquently written book. Stephen Rutt travels the British Isles and tells of his love for birds that spend much of their life out at sea. Even if not previously entranced by seabirds or nature, Stephen Rutt’s words cast a spell to draw you in. If like me, nature is part and parcel of your inner soul, then this is simply magical, but also holds a warning for our future. One huge reminder from The Seafarers is that it proves just how important nature is for our mental health and wellbeing. The introduction really spoke to me, we learn a little about Stephen before he moves on to ten chapters focusing on different seabirds. From the thrill of meeting a Lech’s storm petrel, to the declining population of the skua, he travels from Lundy to Shetland and we learn as much about the islands as we do seabirds. His thoughts on: “the Anthropocene - defined as the era in which the majority of things on earth have been altered by the actions of humans” and that: “We are losing our seabirds. I fear that what we are seeing with plastics is perhaps the beginning of another death spiral” really hit home. Winner of the Saltire First Book of the Year 2019, The Seafarers is not only a beautiful book to read, it acts as a reminder of the importance of our natural world.
*WINNER* of the Saltire First Book of the Year 2019 / Longlisted for the Highland Book Prize 2019
The British Isles are remarkable for their extraordinary seabird life: spectacular gatherings of charismatic Arctic terns, elegant fulmars and stoic eiders, to name just a few. Often found in the most remote and dramatic reaches of our shores, these colonies are landscapes shaped not by us but by the birds.
In 2015, Stephen Rutt escaped his hectic, anxiety-inducing life in London for the bird observatory on North Ronaldsay, the most northerly of the Orkney Islands. In thrall to these windswept havens and the people and birds that inhabit them, he began a journey to the edges of Britain. From Shetland, to the Farnes of Northumberland, down to the Welsh islands off the Pembrokeshire coast, he explores the part seabirds have played in our history and what they continue to mean to Britain today.
The Seafarers is the story of those travels: a love letter, written from the rocks and the edges, for the salt-stained, isolated and ever-changing lives of seabirds. This beguiling book reveals what it feels like to be immersed in a completely wild landscape, examining the allure of the remote in an over-crowded world.
The writing lures you in, making you feel that you too might benefit from venturing out in inclement weather, just on the off-chance of seeing something remarkable on the wing to lift your spirits
- The National ;
A beautifully illuminating portrait of lives lived largely on the wing and at sea . . . In this intimate guide to the wild beauty and complexity of seabirds, Stephen Rutt has written a powerful chronicle of resilience and fragility' -- Julian Hoffman, author of Irreplaceable and The Small Heart of Things ;
An evocative book ... I could taste the salt on my lips and smell the perfume of storm petrels. The Seafarers is a pelagic poem about the birds that exist at the coastal edges of our islands and consciousness. The stories of these hardy birds entwine seamlessly with Stephen Rutt's personal journey to form a narrative as natural and flowing as the passage of shearwater along the face of Atlantic rollers
-- Jon Dunn, author of Orchid Summer ;
An arrestingly vivid turn of phrase... An accomplished debut from an exciting new voice in Nature writing.
-- The Countryman Magazine ;
5*... One of those great joys of a book ... I look forward to reading the next book from this author, although I acknowledge that he has set his own bar very high
- Tonto Williams Electronic Scrapbook ;
Writes as beautifully about Shetland as he does about seabirds
- Sally Huband, raingeeseandselkies.blogspot.com
'A beautifully illuminating portrait of lives lived largely on the wing and at sea - Julian Hoffman, author of Irreplaceable and The Small Heart of Things
Publication date: 04/06/2020
Publisher: Elliott & Thompson Limited
|Publication date:||4th June 2020|
|Publisher:||Elliott & Thompson Limited|
|Genres:||Biography / Autobiography, Debuts of the Month, Debuts, Gift Books, Star Books, The Real World,|
|Collections:||Our Favourite Books of 2020,|
|Categories:||Wildlife: birds & birdwatching,|
Stephen Rutt is a birder, naturalist, freelance feature writer and book reviewer whose work has appeared in EarthLines Magazine, Zoomorphic, The Harrier, Surfbirds, BirdGuides and the East Anglian Daily Times. In 2016 he escaped his hectic, anxiety-inducing life in London to spend seven months at the bird observatory on North Ronaldsay, the most northerly island in the Orkney archipelago, where this book was born. He currently lives in Dumfries.More About Stephen Rutt