Liz…When Mike mentioned watching hawks in a recent post it reminded me of the highly acclaimed H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald that I read last year.
It is an award winning memoir written when, after the sudden death of her father to whom she was particularly close, she attempts to assuage her grief by acquiring, then training, a young goshawk.
They are apparently the most difficult of hawks to handle. MacDonald, a a naturalist and historian, describes in spare clear prose her sorrow, challenge and frustration in raising Mabel the goshawk.
She has a close affinity to, and appreciation for, T H White, most famous as author of The Once and Future King, from whom she had learned so much in his book The Goshawk.
Mike…I’ve not read Liz’s choice but it is on my to read list. My book was prompted by hers and is about a rather different bird.
Sold for a Farthing by Claire Kipps is a small, 72 page hardback published in 1954 and tells the tale of a poorly infant sparrow found on the author’s doorstep in July 1940. She nursed it back to health and it then shared her home until it’s death from old age in March 1952. It couldn’t be released back into the wild as it had a deformed right wing and faulty left foot.
The poet Walter de la Mare called this book a little gem, and it’s certainly one of my favourites.
I found this excellent review which is well reading.
Happy reading, and have a good weekend!