Charles Waterton: A Biography
Charles Waterton (1782-1865) - a true English eccentric, ironically self-styled 'the most commonplace of men'. He talked to insects, fought with snakes, rode an alligator and lived like a monk. He was made famous in his own lifetime by publication of his wide-ranging travels and natural history observations - always fun, often perceptive, and unfailingly individual. One of his more notable contributions to science was the introduction into Europe of curare, now an invaluable drug in surgical operations. He turned his family estate into an extensive nature reserve, long before such things were heard of, and threw open his gates to the local populace as long as they understood that birds and animals had security of tenure. Waterton wrote three volumes of Essays on Natural History and the best-selling Wanderings in South America, which has never been out of print since the first publication in 1825. He was a fearsome satirist and pamphleteer, attacking prominent figures of his day both with his powerful pen and with his taxidermy skills. His simple charm made a mockery of all those enemies who tried to capitalise on his human failings. Unlike previous biographies, this book is an unabashed celebration of his eccentricity, a fond salute to a fine old English gentleman. In the centenary year of the Canadian national park which is named after him, the life of Charles Waterton should encourage the preservation of what remains of his kind of world, and remind us of what the world has lost to insensitivity and greed.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Bless the Squire and his Relations
A White Man from Yorkshire
The Fine Old English Gentleman
Am.Phil.Soc animal Anne appeared Audubon birds British Bruges called Catholic cayman Charles Waterton Charles Willson Peale church clearly curare Darwin Demerara Edinburgh Edmund Eliza and Helen England English Essays on Natural father forest George Ord Goodchild Loan MSS gorilla Guiana Habits and Handiwork head Helen Edmonstone Hist ibid Indian Irwin James James Simson John John James Audubon journey ladies lake later letter London Loudon's Mag months Museums and Arts Natural History naturalist nest never night Norman Moore North Yorkshire obviously Ornithological owls Pitt-Byrne Preface to Essays rats rattlesnakes Richard Hobson Richard Nichols Richard Schomburgk Rome Series sloth snake South America species specimens Squire Squire's stayed Stonyhurst Stonyhurst College taxidermy took trees turkey vultures vultures Wakefield MDC Museums Wakefield Museum Walton Hall Walton Park Wanderings in South Waterton to George whilst William Swainson York Yorkshire