Shrewdunnit - Pelagic Publishing


The Nature Files

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    • An assortment of stories that sparkle with insight, imagination and affection
      —Sophie Stafford
    • birds
    • conservation
    • mammals
    • natural history
    • nature
    • popular wildlife
    • wildlife


    Conor Mark Jameson has spent most of his life exploring the natural environment and communicating his enthusiasm for it to family, friends and, more recently, readers of a range of newspapers and magazines. Shrewdunnit brings together the best of these dispatches, alongside unpublished essays, in a poetic and evocative journal that inspires and delights. Jameson’s prose is fresh and in places irreverent, with a hint of mischief and a dash of wit.

    From his back door to the peaks of New Zealand and the swamp forests of the Peruvian Amazon, he carries on the biogumentary style he perfected in his earlier books showing – never telling – how to bring nature and conservation home. He may just have invented a genre. 


    • In his latest book Conor Mark Jameson takes the reader on a journey of discovery of “everyday (or so we wished) nature” with an entertaining narrative style. The author weaves scientific facts within captivating anecdotes told with humour and empathy, and the result is a thoroughly enjoyable read that reminds us how we can be surprised and fascinated by even the most common or familiar patch of land. —Daria Dadam, BTO About Birds
    • It is beautifully written, full of simple yet unerringly apt description and well laced with wit and wisdom. I can best describe it, I think, as a collection of essays, some already published but others not, penned by a man who, in another age, would be an essayist, not a mere writer of articles. —Mike Everett, British Birds
    • It is journalism, but from an essayist, full of fact but expressed with an underlying passion or simple love of the beauty of the countryside and a deep desire to see it return to what it was and could be. Here you find history and country lore, gardening advice and literary allusion with plenty of incidental birdsong. By which I mean that an essay about hedge planting is told in such a way that you can almost hear the Nightingales at the end of the lane or the Blackbird singing from the stump of a newly hewn leylandii. This is a book I shall look forward to dipping into often. —Fatbirder
    • Shrewdunnit is done in an old form, one currently neglected, perhaps as old- fashioned, in the US, and still done very well in England — a year's observations, mostly of one place (although he is a thoroughly modern naturalist and also goes abroad); a phenology, a record, a series of sketches light and serious. Such a book stands or falls by two things: how well the writer knows his chosen place, and how well he writes, how originally he he can see. Conor succeeds on both counts. —Stephen Bodio, Querencia (blog)
    • It's a great read, and it's hard to get through it without at least once promising yourself to live a little bit more deliberately, and attentively. Truly inspirational. —Matt Merritt, Birdwatching
    • ... blends environmental knowledge with gentle humour.... while these diary pieces are packed with information, their pace is leisured and their tone deceptively simple... There is a quirkiness to his wildlife passions. This warm-hearted book also displays a gift for fine writing... underscores why his RSPB column is so popular. —Mark Cocker, Countryfile
    • A delightful diary of 'everyday Britain', seen through the eyes of one of our most perceptive nature writers. —Stephen Moss
    • Conor Mark Jameson is one of those people who, if they didn’t exist, would have to be invented by SOMEONE in a world which so desperately needs his profound knowledge, his wise and amusing observations and his tireless campaigning on behalf of the natural world. —Esther Woolfson, author of Field Notes from a Hidden City
    • This is a fantastically detailed and very visual diary of British natural history. It’s a journey through the colourful landscape of Conor Jameson’s countryside. —David Lindo, author of The Urban Birder
    • …a delightful read, wonderfully crafted by a writer and naturalist at the top of his game. —Iolo Williams, author of Wild About the Wild
    • A wide-ranging, warm-hearted and generous love-letter to wild things, near and far, Shrewdunnit is a delightful and beguiling collection in the great tradition of local naturalists. It is alive with the mysteries that surround us, while showing us how nature is something cherishable and very close to home. —Helen Macdonald, author of H is for Hawk
    • Conor’s stories are gently beguiling, strikingly original. They speak from his heart to our souls and carry the profound wisdom of a thoughtful and perceptive observer. —Derek Niemann, author of Birds in a Cage
    • A wonderful collection by a gifted and thoughtful writer: a delight both to dip into and reread for insight and enjoyment… —Jonathan Elphick
    • Conor's is a rare talent, one that seems so simple, but that he works on long and hard to perfect. This new book is a joy, and we can all feel grateful that he has given us the opportunity to benefit from his wisdom and his delight in the natural world around him. —Rob Hume

    About the Author

    Conor Mark Jameson has written for the Guardian, BBC Wildlife, the Ecologist, New Statesman, Africa Geographic, NZ Wilderness, British Birds, Birdwatch and Birdwatching magazines and has been a scriptwriter for the BBC Natural History Unit. He is a columnist and feature writer for the RSPB magazine, Nature’s Home, and has worked in conservation for 20 years, in the UK and abroad. He was born in Uganda to Irish parents, brought up in Scotland, and now lives in England, in a village an hour north of London. His first book, Silent Spring Revisited, was published in 2012 and his second, Looking for the Goshawk, in 2013, both by Bloomsbury.

    He is a recent recipient of a Roger Deakin Award from the Society of Authors. When not campaigning for a better, safer planet, and making notes such as those you find here, he tries to find time to tinker with shrubs, and look for goshawks in a variety of habitats.

    Bibliographic Information

    • 300 pages
    • B/w illustrations
    • BISAC NAT004000, NAT037000, NAT011000