As Kingfishers Catch Fire

by Alex Preston & Neil Gower (signed & with illustration)

When Alex Preston was fifteen, he stopped being a birdwatcher. Adolescence and the scorn of his peers made him put away his binoculars and leave behind the hides, the nature reserves and the quiet companionship of his fellow birders. His love of birds didn't disappear though. Rather, it went underground, and he began birdwatching in the books that he read, creating his own personal anthology of nature writing that brought the birds of his childhood back to brilliant life. 

Looking for moments 'when heart and bird are one', Preston weaves the very best writing about birds into a personal and eccentric narrative tht is as much about the joy of reading and writing as it is abou the thrill of wildlife. Moving from the 'high requiem' of Keats's nightingale to the crow-strewn sky at the end of Alan Garner's The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, from Ted Hughes's brooding 'Hawk in the Rain' to the giddy anthropomorphism of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, this is a book that will make you look at birds, at the world, and in a newer, richer light. 

Beautifully illustrated and illuminated by the celebrated artist Neil Gower, As Kingfishers Catch Fire is a book to love and to hold, to return to again and again, to marvel at the way that authors across the centuries have captured the endless grace and variety of birds. 

"A Magical book: an inimitable fusion of ornithology, literary anthology and autobiography".  Tom Holland 

"... to read As Kingfishers Catch Fire is to want to see birds afresh. It is to view them through a new lens. It is dense and rich, a book into which to dip rather than to devour in one sitting, and a reminder of the abiding interest so many writers have taken in birds, from the obvious and well-known to the obscure." Wyl Menmuir. 

You can read Wyl's review of As Kingfishers Catch Fire here. 

Hardback Edition
Size 203 x 254mm
208 pages

Paperback Edition
Size 160 x 196mm
208 pages

A selection of Limited Edition prints from the book are also available to purchase at Elementum Gallery. Please contact us for further information and prices

Paperback Edition – Signed by Neil Gower



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As Kingfishers Catch Fire