In seven works of non-fiction, especially in Birders and the universally acclaimed Birds Britannica, Mark Cocker has established himself as one of the foremost writers on nature and wilderness. In his most lyrical work to date, he has drawn together the best of his writing on wildlife, mainly taken from columns for the Guardian and Guardian Weekly. These carefully distilled articles, over a hundred in all, illustrate some of his most enduring themes over the last twenty years the magical dynamism of birds, as well as the subtle beauty, vast skies and wildlife riches of the Norfolk landscape. In its celebration of the natural world, the hugely varied selection also demonstrates a concern to champion the despised and neglected rats, gulls, crows (the Black Beasts of his first section) as much as it explores some of the most charismatic creatures on Earth penguins, whales, lions and elephants. Cocker is equally good at evoking the commonplace mysteries of garden blackbirds and thrush s song, as he is the exotic otherness of mountain gorillas or the one-horned rhinoceros. With its attention to detail, especially the sharpness of perception and the precise use of language,
Mark Cocker is one of Britain's foremost writers on nature and contributes regularly to the Guardian, the Times Literary Supplement, as well as BBC Radio Four. His six other books deal with modern responses to wilderness, whether found in landscape, human societies or in other species. They include a biography, Richard Meinerzthagen, shortlisted for the Angel Prize and the hugely acclaimed bestseller Birds Britannica (with Richard Mabey). He recently won a Winston Churchill Travel Fellowship to study the cultural importance of birds in West Africa.