Otter

( 5 )

Overview

Although rarely seen in the wild, the otter is admired for its playful character and graceful aquatic agility, which were established in the popular imagination through books like Tarka the Otter and Ring of Bright Water. This, however, is just a very small part of their story—throughout history the otter has also been widely hunted for its fur and flesh.  In Otter, human geographer Daniel Allen reveals how the animal’s identity has been shaped by this variety of human ...

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Otter

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Overview

Although rarely seen in the wild, the otter is admired for its playful character and graceful aquatic agility, which were established in the popular imagination through books like Tarka the Otter and Ring of Bright Water. This, however, is just a very small part of their story—throughout history the otter has also been widely hunted for its fur and flesh.  In Otter, human geographer Daniel Allen reveals how the animal’s identity has been shaped by this variety of human interactions. 

As Allen explains, otters, while feared by some communities, were hunted to near extinction by others—killed for their valuable pelts in the north Pacific and chased with hounds for sport in Britain. In contrast, Allen describes how Native Americans revered the otter and how indigenous fishermen in parts of Asia trained otters to assist them. Sadly, now all thirteen species of otter are considered threatened, and their survival is by no means certain.

In this wide-ranging look at the otter, Allen incorporates anecdotes from folklore,  sports, popular literature, media, and conservation studies in order to unravel this complicated cultural history. Otter is a lively book that offers a new way of thinking about this admired and endangered animal.

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Editorial Reviews

BBC Wildlife Magazine
"Daniel Allen gives a captivating account of our changing relationship with the otter—once persecuted, now adored."
Guardian
"A fine furry paean."
Virginia McKenna
Otter is the most brilliant mix of facts ancient and modern about the otter species and its vulnerability to man’s seemingly insatiable need to hunt the poor animal for reasons other than survival. I am sure the book will help to ensure that the hunting of otters will never return to this country—and I hope other lands will follow this example . . . A fascinating and illuminating book.”
Daily Mail
“Did you know that the otter is J K Rowling’s favorite animal? Or that the earliest evidence of its existence dates back 20 million years? Or that the fur of the sea otter is the densest in the animal kingdom? All these and numerous other intriguing snippets of otter lore are contained within a beautifully presented volume as charming and captivating as its subject matter . . . Printed on high-quality paper with gorgeous illustrations on nearly every page . . . you will love this one.'”
Times Literary Supplement
“Daniel Allen and Reaktion’s accomplished production of Otter befit its exceptionally charismatic and beautiful subject, and skillfully tracks the manner in which conservation lobbying and literature helped transform the otter from victim to survivor. It is to be hoped that it will inspire renewed efforts to study and conserve an animal which is now showing worrying signs of decline.”
Countryman
“The otter’s reputation is well served by this readable account.”
Highland News
“This monograph tells both sides of the story and pulls no punches and must be the best account and resume of otters and their problems and their success than any other book I have read. It deals with the whole spectrum from persecution to folklore and sport to commercial enterprise.”
North Devon Journal
 “A fascinating text, many illustrations and good value for money . . . a ‘must-have’ of a book.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781861897671
  • Publisher: Reaktion Books, Limited
  • Publication date: 10/15/2010
  • Series: Reaktion Books - Animal
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 440,025
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Daniel Allen is a human geographer with expertise in cultural, historical, and environmental geography.

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Table of Contents

1 Introducing the Otter 7

2 Folklore, Fables, Tradition and the Otter 27

3 Commercial Otter Hunting 46

4 Otter Hunting for Sport 62

5 The Literary Otter 91

6 The Otter On Screen 115

7 Protecting the Otter 130

Appendix: Otter Data 149

Timeline of the Otter 152

References 154

Select Bibliography 171

Websites and Associations 177

Acknowledgements 179

Photo Acknowledgements 180

Index 181

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2013

    To all boys

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2013

    Voice of Advice

    You do realize every post that you submit is recorded and can be viewed by anyone. Don't believe me? Explore a little on NOOK friends.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2013

    ??????

    What the hell? How could u guys do this? It is so wrong on so many levals.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2013

    Josh

    Umm whrer r u i want 2 start

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