Naturalist, broadcaster and author Stephen Moss combines detective work, natural history, folklore and first hand observations to explore how birds got their names and our long and eventful relationship with the natural world.

Swallow and starling, puffin and peregrine, blue tit and blackcap. We use these names so often that few of us ever pause to wonder about their origins. What do they mean? Where did they come from? And who created them? The words we use to identify birds are some of the most lyrical and evocative in the English language. They can carry whole stories: of arctic expeditions, pitched battles between rival ornithologists, momentous historical events or touching romantic gestures. Through fascinating encounters with the bird kingdom and the rich cast of characters responsible for coming up with their names, in Mrs Moreau’s Warbler Stephen Moss takes us on a remarkable journey through time. From when humans and birds first shared the earth to our fraught present-day coexistence, Moss shows how these words reveal as much about ourselves and our relationship with the natural world as about the creatures they describe.


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Date(s) - 19/08/2018
1:15 pm - 2:00 pm

Authors Forum