By Peter Young
The smooth winged kind of the swan has encouraged artistic endeavors from fairy stories to ballets, and its profile is famous instantly by way of even the main cursory of chook admirers. Now the latest addition to Reaktion’s acclaimed Animal sequence examines the attention-grabbing tale at the back of this dependent bird.The typical historical past of the swan is strangely complicated, as Peter younger unearths, delving into the bird’s habitat and feeding conduct, the physiological information of the 8 surviving species and several other extinct ones, the bird’s strength and persistence, and the formation flying that enables them to preserve power and fly nice distances with velocity. Swan offers equivalent remedy to the lengthy and wealthy position of the swan in human tradition, from the Greek fantasy of Leda and the Swan to the bird’s portrayal in sculpture, furnishings, and model identify trademarks. younger additionally info the demanding situations dealing with conservation efforts to guard swans from human intake and fabric goods.An engrossing account, Swan can be a welcome boost to the bookshelf of all who respect this gorgeous poultry.
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Additional info for Swan (Reaktion Books - Animal)
To an inhabitant of Central Africa, ﬁfty years ago, no fact probably appeared to rest 51 on more uniform experience than this, that all human beings are black. To Europeans, not many years ago, the proposition all swans are white, appeared an equally unequivocal instance of uniformity in the course of nature. Further experience has proved to both that they were mistaken; but they had to wait ﬁfty centuries for this experience. 24 Mill went back to Sir Francis Bacon (1561–1626), the founder of inductive philosophy, who condemned the ancients for ascribing a general truth to all propositions that are true in every instance that we happen to know of.
In real life she regarded swans as 60 Bold, greedy, unreliable . . I can only appreciate them when they rock in midstream like abstract forms of peace and meditation, their cruel heads laid back against sculptured pinions. Even so their blandness is deceptive. At any moment one or another of them will unfold; will ruffle and swell and gather itself and become a charging missile, a death ship propelled by fury up and down the flood. Strange that sexual urges so daemonic should end in such tranquil scenes of domesticity.
Audubon, who was also interested in anatomy and used rum to preserve swan remains for analysis, considered the work the best of its kind in English. Another Scottish ornithologist, Alexander Wilson, established an earlier scientiﬁc line of books on American birds, producing seven volumes from 1808 to 1813. After his death in 1813 the eighth and ninth volumes were completed by his assistant George Ord, and the work was continued from 1828 to 1833 by C. L. Bonaparte, a nephew of the Emperor Napoleon.