Of more than 8,000 bird species, the swan is surely one of the most easily recognised. Airborne, the swan is a majestic sight: with its long, slender neck outstretched, it glides gracefully with slow, strong wing-beats. Its large webbed feet and short legs, which make it awkward on land, propel it serenely and effortlessly through water. Swan is a comprehensive natural and cultural history of this most dignified of birds.
Peter Young is an independent scholar. He is the author of Person to Person (1992), a social history of the telephone, and Tortoise (Reaktion Books, 2003), one of the very first books in the Animal series.