Neville Jason’s charming voice meanders through William Henry Hudson’s idyllic collection of essays about bird-watching, Birds in Town and Village. Hudson, a founder of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, bases his careful and delightful observations on many years of bird-watching. As the true stars of the collection, the birds are at once industrious, graceful, and playful. Jason’s lilting performance takes the listener on a naturalist’s journey through Victorian England’s towns and villages, as he illuminates Hudson’s 1919 classic of nature writing.
William Henry Hudson was a founding member of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). Though born in Argentina, Hudson came to England in 1874, where he remained until his death in 1922. Absorbed by nature, and in particular by the lives and activities of birds, his acute observations on wildlife led to some charming books which helped establish the pastime of bird watching. Birds in Town and Village is one of his classics. It is a truly engaging rumination on birds, as he watched them go about their daily lives. It is unfailingly charming, and read with an easy, relaxed tone by Neville Jason.
I started off really loving this book and finished that way as well his obvious love of all bird behavior and his comments on human attitudes make a nice narrative natural history. He is very dated in his science. The ecological niche important for any animal escapes him but that is his time. I love this reader.