Nature's Fading Chorus: Classic and Contemporary Writings on Amphibians

Nature's Fading Chorus: Classic and Contemporary Writings on Amphibians

by Gordon Miller
     
 

<p>Naturalists in every age have been intrigued by frogs, toads, and salamanders. They have seen these amphibians in a variety of guises - as beings with magical powers or implicit moral lessons, as the products of spontaneous generation, as heralds of the seasons, as evidence of evolution or material for biological experiments, or, most recently, as ecological… See more details below

Overview

<p>Naturalists in every age have been intrigued by frogs, toads, and salamanders. They have seen these amphibians in a variety of guises - as beings with magical powers or implicit moral lessons, as the products of spontaneous generation, as heralds of the seasons, as evidence of evolution or material for biological experiments, or, most recently, as ecological barometers for the biosphere.<p>Nature's Fading Chorus presents an anthology of writings on amphibians drawn from the entire Western natural history tradition, beginning with Aristotle's Inquiry Concerning Animals written in the fourth century B.C.E., and continuing through recent scientific accounts of the relatively sudden - and alarming - global declines and deformities in amphibian species. The offerings not only reveal much about amphibian life, but also provide fascinating insight into the worldviews of the many writers, scientists, and naturalists who have delved into the subject.<p>The book is divided into five sections. The first three offer selections from the most influential contributors to the Western canon of natural history writing, and contain classic texts that illustrate central themes in the changing understanding of amphibians and of the natural world. The fourth section offers engaging essays by leading twentieth-century nature writers that portray a variety of amphibians in diverse terrains. Part five covers the various aspects of, and research on, the problem of amphibian declines and deformities. Featured are more than thirty-five pieces, including works from Pliny the Elder, Gilbert White, William Bartram, Henry David Thoreau, Charles Darwin, T. H. Huxley, Loren Eiseley, Stephen Jay Gould, George Orwell, Annie Dillard, Terry Tempest Williams, and many others.<p>Arranged chronologically, the writings provide an intriguing look at the ways in which humankind's understanding of its place in nature has changed through the course of Western history, and of the niche amphibians have occupied in that evolution.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Collects excerpts and articles from a range of Western natural history writings beginning with early hits like Aristotle's , and works by Pliny the Elder, Albert the Great, Thomas Browne, and John Ray. Next come early amphibious writings by Gilbert White, William Bartram, Thoreau, Burroughs, and W.H. Hudson. Scientific essays by Darwin, T.H. Huxley, Julian Huxley, and Stephen J. Gould follow. Twentieth-century nature writers are represented by Orwell, Dillard, Terry Tempest Williams and others. The essays end on that unhappy note usual (and usually necessary) in environmental narratives, a lament of declines, deformities, and biodiversity, addressing subjects like vanishing and mutant frogs, and amphibians as harbingers of a world in decay. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781559637930
Publisher:
Island Press
Publication date:
05/01/2000
Edition description:
1
Pages:
250
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)

Related Subjects

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >