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The Dun Cow Rib A Very Natural Childhood by John Lister-Kaye

The Dun Cow Rib A Very Natural Childhood


The Dun Cow Rib A Very Natural Childhood by John Lister-Kaye

John Lister-Kaye has spent a lifetime exploring, protecting and celebrating the British landscape and its wildlife. His memoir The Dun Cow Rib is the story of a boy's awakening to the wonders of the natural world. Lister-Kaye's joyous childhood holidays - spent scrambling through hedges and ditches after birds and small beasts, keeping pigeons in the loft and tracking foxes around the edge of the garden - were the perfect apprenticeship for his two lifelong passions: exploring the wonders of nature, and writing about them. Threaded through his adventures - from moving to the Scottish Highlands to work with Gavin Maxwell, to founding the famous Aigas Field Centre - is an elegy to his remarkable mother, and a wise and affectionate celebration of Britain's natural landscape.


John Lister-Kaye is Scotland's high priest of nature writing; it's charming and moving to wander along with him . . . The Dun Cow Rib is a loving book * * The Times * * For my book of the year, however, there is only one contender. John Lister-Kaye is - and I am sure he won't mind me saying this - an old nature writer, who has delighted his legion of readers since the early 70s. His memoir, The Dun Cow Rib, is the perfect winter read: funny, moving and packed with evocative recollections of a 50s childhood, lived under the shadow of his mother's chronic illness. Never once does he succumb to self-pity. His accounts of adventures as a (mostly) free-range child exploring the wonders of the natural world are simply delightful. -- Stephen Moss * * Guardian * * I should love to pay a visit to and shake this fine author by the hand * * Mail on Sunday * * A wise and affectionate celebration of Britain's natural landscape * * The Week * * Utterly charming and captivating * * The Sunday Times * * Excellent * * The Scotsman * * In this moving autobiography by Scotland's foremost wildlife writer . . . it's when describing the lost countryside of his earliest years that he's without equal * * Country Life * * Escape into the joyous childhood of John Lister-Kaye * * Daily Express * * Lister-Kaye sometimes writes like the long-lost sixth member of the Famous Five * * Herald * * [John Lister-Kaye] movingly recalls a profound awakening to the wonders of the natural world * * Country Living * *

About the Author

John Lister-Kaye
Sir John Liste-Kaye is one of Scotland's best-known naturalists and conservationists. He has lectured on wildlife and the environment on three continents and served prominently in the RSPB, the Nature Conservancy Council, Scottish Natural Heritage and the Scottish Wildlife Trust. He lives at Aigas with his wife and family.

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Book Info

Publication date

17th August 2017


John Lister-Kaye

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Author's Website


Canongate Books Ltd


368 pages


Conservation of the environment
Wildlife: general interest



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