A natural history classic

  • Published in a beautiful new edition
  • Timelessly fine text by an author acclaimed both for his observation and his descriptive powers
  • Unique literary rendering of the landscape of West Cornwall
  • Foreword by Howard Curnow, President of The Cornish Wildlife Trust

Temporarily out of stock

This natural history classic, first published in 1909, is a minutely observed, endlessly fascinating and graphic tale of wild animals in the Cornish countryside. The result of many years spent studying these fascinating creatures at close quarters, this is an unsentimental study of a family of otters, from the birth of cubs to childhood and maturity. We see the seasons change as the youngsters mature in river waters, upland pools and estuary creeks. We read of their nocturnal journeys in search of food, of their skirmishes with buzzards and domestic dogs; of being chased and sometimes killed, by otter hounds in the endless cycle of Nature. Said to have been the inspiration for Henry Williamson’s classic work, Tarka the Otter, this beautifully written celebration of these glorious creatures presents a vivid snapshot of wild animals in a countryside teeming with interest, beauty and danger – mostly in human form. All is set in Tregarthen’s beloved West Cornwall and written in his own inimitable style, almost from the point of view of the otters themselves. The text includes an appraisal of Tregarthen and this book by Clara, Lady Vyvyan of Trelowarren.

The late John Coulson Tregarthen (1854-1933) remains one of Cornwall’s most famous and learned naturalists. Past President of the Royal Institution of Cornwall (1927-29) and a Fellow of the Zoological Society, he listed his recreations as ‘reading, fishing and the observation of wild animals’. His studies of wild creatures were so detailed and sensitive that he enables readers to live, for a time at least, among the animals themselves.

Category: Adult and young adult, non-fiction; natural history

RRP: £9.99

Publication: April 2005, 160 pages 228 x 152mm (9 in x 6 in)

ISBN 978 190 4880 06 6