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PASTA FOR NIGHTINGALES: A 17th Century Handbook of Bird Care
Bibliophile price: £7.50
The first ever English translation of a 17th century ornithology text complete with historic watercolour illustrations, this is a beautifully designed modern hardback from Yale University Press. This extensively illustrated book brings together the earliest studies in ornithology with the original watercolours, now part of the Royal Collection, that provided the inspiration for its engraved illustrations. The watercolours created for the 'Paper Museum' of 17th century scholar and art collector Cassiano Dal Pozzo are combined with the translated text of amateur naturalist Pietro Olina's original 'Uccelliera' of 1662. It was a period when folklore informed natural history studies as much as science did. It includes enchanting insights such as the idea that robins suffered from dizziness and that the hoopoe overindulged in grapes until it became 'dazed and half-drunk'. There is a recipe for chickpea pasta meant to satisfy a nightingale and keep it in song. In all this unique book describes over 40 much-loved species - the starling, greenfinch, finch, ortolan, canary, hemp fig-pecker, linnet, wagtail or ox-follower, turtle dove and calandra lark, the great owl and the little owl, the solitary sparrow and the blackbird among them. A handsome edition, 134pp, colour throughout and beautiful design on quality paper.

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