Nature's Engraver: A Life of Thomas Bewick
Thomas Bewick wrote A History of British Birds at the end of the eighteenth century, just as Britain fell in love with nature. This was one of the wildlife books that marked the moment, the first 'field-guide' for ordinary people, illustrated by woodcuts of astonishing accuracy and beauty. But it was far more than that, for in the vivid vignettes scattered through the book Bewick drew the life of the country people of the North East - a world already vanishing under the threat of enclosures.
In this superbly illustrated biography, Jenny Uglow tells the story of the farmer's son from Tyneside who revolutionised wood-engraving and influenced book illustration for a century to come. It is a story of violent change, radical politics, lost ways of life and the beauty of the wild - a journey to the beginning of our lasting obsession with the natural world.
Nature's Engraver won the National Arts Writers Award in 2007. Jenny Uglow is the author of, among others, A Gambling Man: Charles II and the Restoration, which was shortlisted for the 2010 Samuel Johnson Prize, Lunar Men and In These Times.
'The most perfect historian imaginable' Peter Ackroyd