Bloomsbury to Publish The Way of the Hare by Marianne Taylor
An exploration of the relationship between humans and the charismatic and elusive hare.
To the people of rural Britain, hares are deeply beloved, perhaps above all other animals. They thrive in abundance in imagery but can be maddeningly elusive in reality.
In our stories – ancient and modern – they are magical, uncanny and illogical beings which commune with the moon, vanish at will, and lose their minds when spring arrives. Yet despite the breadth and depth of its legends, the brown hare of the lowlands is a relative newcomer to our islands, and our ‘real’ ancient hare is the mountain hare of the most unforgiving high mountainsides.
Hares of myth have godly powers, but real, earthbound hares walk a dangerous line – they are small animals with many predators but have no burrow or tunnel to shelter them from danger. They survive by a combination of two skills honed to unimaginable extremes – hiding in plain sight, and running faster than anything and anyone. The need to excel as hiders and runners ultimately directs every aspect of hare biology and behaviour, as well as inspiring our own wild ideas about hare-kind.
This book explores hares as they are and as we imagine them, and the long and often bloody history of our association with these enigmatic animals. Elegant studies of molecular biology and biomechanical physics help us understand how hares are put together, while centuries of game estate records reveal how humans have commodified and exploited them. But it is ultimately the moments spent in the company of wild hares that allow us to bring together myth and reality to celebrate the magic of the living
- A beautifully written account of an attempt to get to know an elusive species.
- Hares have a place in the popular imagination and in our iconography – many people are fascinated by them.
- Plenty of hard science behind the encounters for those who like their nature writing with facts.
- A Times Book of the Year 2017; chosen by NPR as one of the Books of the Year
- Illustrated with the author’s line drawings and photographs.
“Taylor’s book is so replete with leporine lore, so completely absorbed with the lives and (often grisly) deaths of our hares that you can’t help but see the creatures with new eyes.”- The Guardian, Alex Preston
“The history is absorbing, the science full of interesting trivia, and the author’s passion evident – for Taylor, treatment of the hare is a symptom of our greater relationship with the natural world.” – NPR, Best Books of 2017
Author’s Bio: Marianne Taylor is a birdwatcher, dragonfly-finder and mammal-seeker from Kent,
England. She has written many books on wildlife; her titles include British Birds of Prey and NatureWatch for the RSPB, while her narrative works include Dragonflight and Way of the Hare, a Times Book of the Year 2017.