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The Magic of Birds

Melanie Colón
  • Celia Fisher British Library 2014

    About the Author

    Celia Fisher is the author of The Medieval Flower Book and The Golden Age of Flowers, also published by the British Library.

    English No value 0712357424 9780712357425 No value No value

Of all the animals with which we share the planet, few have captured people’s imaginations as thoroughly, or enchantingly, as birds. Symbols of freedom but also of captivity, good fortune but also ill omen, the human spirit and the unknowable animal—birds have delighted and haunted us for millennia.


The Magic of Birds brings that fascination to the printed page. A marvelous mix of words and images, it carries readers around the globe, from the myths of ancient Egypt to the Finnish epic The Kalevala, to find the tracks of birds in art and literature. We see birds peeking out of illuminated medieval manuscripts, swooping across antique maps, and preening in natural history paintings. Alongside, Celia Fisher offers a dazzling cultural history of birds, tracing their presence, as animals and symbols, in the literature, art, and religion of Europe, Asia, Australia, and the Americas.


A truly stunning volume, worthy of our eternal love affair with birds, The Magic of Birds is the perfect book to set beside your birdseed and binoculars.

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