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The Longshoreman: A Life at the Water's Edge by Richard Shelton

The Longshoreman: A Life at the Water's Edge


The Longshoreman: A Life at the Water's Edge by Richard Shelton

'When I first urged Richard Shelton to write his naturalist's memoir, I never expected him to produce a classic. But he has.' Redmond O'Hanlon, author of Trawler Fish have been a lifelong obsession for Richard Shelton. As a boy in the 1940s, he was fascinated by what he found in the streams near his Buckinghamshire home. But it was the sea and the creatures living in it and by it which were to become his passion. The Longshoreman follows the author from stream to river, from pond to lake and loch, from shore to deep sea, on a journey from childhood to an adulthood spent in boats in conditions fair and foul. Along the way, this wonderful book introduces us to strange characters and the intimate habits of lobsters; it also explains what it's like to be a lantern fish; how some fish commute between the surface and the darkest depths, when the laws of physics say they should be crushed to death; and the fate of the wild salmon, that heroic fish whose future is now imperilled by its farmed relatives. A keen fisherman and wildfowler, and an authority on marine life, Shelton has deeply held views on our relationship with the natural world, and Britain's with the seas which surround her.


'A treasure... Richard Shelton writes of fish with the pen of a poet... The beauties and oddities of the shoreline and the marine world are brought before our eyes in vivid colour and with scientific precision... A delightful book.'
Margaret Drabble, Country Life

About the Author

Richard Shelton headed the Freshwater Fisheries Laboratory at Pitlochry from 1982 to 2001, and was Research Director of the Atlantic Salmon Trust. The Longshoreman was his first book and was longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award.

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Book Info

Publication date

13th January 2005


Richard Shelton

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Atlantic Books


352 pages


Wildlife: aquatic creatures
Marine biology
Biography: general



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