The Man Who Ate the Zoo by Richard Girling
Frank Buckland, forgotten hero of natural history

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Today he does not even merit a mention in the “Encyclopaedia Britannica”. This brilliantly entertaining biography argues persuasively why his memory, too, is worthy of conservation.
-The Economist

Synopsis

Frank Buckland was an extraordinary man – a surgeon, a natural historian, a sell-out lecturer, a bestselling writer, a museum curator… and a conservationist, before the concept even existed. Eccentric, revolutionary, popular, prolific, he was one of the nineteenth century’s authentic geniuses. He was obsessed by food security and finding ways to feed the hungry (the book recounts his many unusual experiments), and by protecting our fisheries (he can be credited with saving British fish from commercial extinction). He was one of the most original, far-sighted and influential natural scientists of his time, held as high in public esteem as Charles Darwin.

The Man Who Ate the Zoo is no conventional biography, but rather a journey back into Buckland’s life, a hunt for this forgotten man. It sets Buckland’s thinking and achievements in a rounded historical context, but views this Victorian adventurer from a modern viewpoint. It is both a rollicking yarn – engaging, funny and provocative – and a celebration of the great age of natural science, one man’s genius and what, even now, can be learned from him.

 

About Richard Girling

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Published December 27, 2016 by Chatto & Windus. 400 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math.
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The Economist

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on Nov 12 2016

Today he does not even merit a mention in the “Encyclopaedia Britannica”. This brilliantly entertaining biography argues persuasively why his memory, too, is worthy of conservation.

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