Foxes Unearthed: A Story of Love and Loathing in Modern Britain by Lucy Jones
|Foxes Unearthed: A Story of Love and Loathing in Modern Britain by Lucy Jones|
|Category: Animals and Wildlife|
|Reviewer: Luke Marlowe|
|Summary: A balanced investigation into the portrayal of the mysterious animal known as the fox, Lucy Jones has written a hugely entertaining and informative book.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 320||Date: March 2017|
|Publisher: Elliott & Thompson|
|External links: Author's website|
As one of the largest predators left in Britain, the fox is captivating: a comfortably familiar figure in our country landscapes; an intriguing flash of bright-eyed wildness in our towns. Yet no other animal attracts such controversy, has provoked more column inches or been so ambiguously woven into our culture over centuries, perceived variously as a beautiful animal, a cunning rogue, a vicious pest and a worthy foe. As well as being the most ubiquitous of wild animals, it is also the least understood. Here Lucy Jones investigates the truth about foxes – delving into fact, fiction, folklore and her own history with the creatures. Discussing the debate on foxes, Jones asks what our attitudes towards foxes says about us, and our relationship with the natural world.
I'm a big fox fan. Majestic, mysterious creatures, I like them so much I have one tattooed on my arm… It can't be denied that I'm the sort of person who always roots for the underdog, and the much-maligned fox is a creature that has been placed in that category heavily over the years, so as a result, I was very excited to read Lucy Jones' book, and explore the different attitudes to foxes, as well as how they've been described in history, folklore, and the press.
Whilst Jones' passion for foxes does come across quite clearly, author Jones explores a wide range of attitudes to foxes, travelling the country and speaking to both fox lovers and fox haters. The debate about fox hunting is particularly well handled here – an often-divisive subject treated fairly, with surprisingly strong arguments both for and against the banned sport. Facts are abundant here, but this never reads like a dry science book – Jones covers a range of fascinating areas in depth – things like the urban fox, the pet fox, and the fox in folklore are particularly well handled subjects, and the people she speaks to throughout cover a wide range of backgrounds, specialisms and experiences, allowing the reader to form their own opinions of the fox, but providing clear, incredibly well researched and balanced information to allow that opinion to be reached in an educated and informed manner.
I do sometimes struggle to read non-fiction rapidly – I often find that science or history books slow my reading pace down, but this is a real page turner – packed full of fascinating information conveyed with clear, clever prose. Whilst this is a book filled with a clear love for Foxes, Jones never allows herself to veer too far into sentimentality, keeping this a balanced, refreshing and extremely convincing look at a beautiful, clever animal.
Many thanks to the publishers for the copy. For further reading I suggest The Hunt for the Golden Mole: All Creatures Great and Small and Why They Matter by Richard Girling a fascinating read about our attitudes to various animals over time, and a look at those veering towards extinction…
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You can read more book reviews or buy Foxes Unearthed: A Story of Love and Loathing in Modern Britain by Lucy Jones at Amazon.com.
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