TITLE: Foxes Unearthed
AUTHOR: Lucy Jones
PUBLISHER: Elliott Thompson
GENRE: Non-Fiction, Nature, Natural History
RATING: 3.5/5 Stars
As one of the largest predators left in Britain, the fox is captivating: a comfortably familiar figure in our country landscapes; an intriguing flash of bright-eyed wildness in our towns.
Yet no other animal attracts such controversy, has provoked more column inches or been so ambiguously woven into our culture over centuries, perceived variously as a beautiful animal, a cunning rogue, a vicious pest and a worthy foe. As well as being the most ubiquitous of wild animals, it is also the least understood.
In Foxes Unearthed Lucy Jones investigates the truth about foxes in a media landscape that often carries complex agendas. Delving into fact, fiction, folklore and her own family history, Lucy travels the length of Britain to find out first-hand why these animals incite such passionate emotions, revealing our rich and complex relationship with one of our most loved – and most vilified – wild animals. This compelling narrative adds much-needed depth to the debate on foxes, asking what our attitudes towards the red fox say about us – and, ultimately, about our relationship with the natural world.
What I Liked:
- I certainly received a fox-filled education from this book. Jones covers a lot in this book - the folklore and stories surrounding them, their natural behaviours and preferences, the great divide that they cause within Britain, and of course the history of fox-hunting itself. As a UK dweller, I can attest to the fact that these creatures are the centre of a huge controversy. Many think fox-hunting is cruel and unecessary while a lesser percentage of the population think it essential to both fox population management and their own lifestyles. This book paints that picture perfectly.
What I Disliked:
- Jones writes well, that much is certain. But I also found sections of this book repetitive and a little skippable. I wish I'd had a clearer sense of the overall structure because I felt, at times, that I was rereading things that had already been mentioned.
- I will also point out that if you are a real fox-lover then this book might upset you. The reality of fox-hunting in all it's gory detail is portrayed here and at times it made me feel a little nauseous thinking about it.
This is an enjoyable read for the most part. I liked learning a whole bunch about foxes, especially in terms of folklore, their history within Britain and public opinion on them. Jones proved that she had done her homework multiple times and the level of detail was certainly impressive. I would have liked a bit less repitition and I do feel at times that the structure got a bit lost. But if you are interested in foxes then this is definitely worth a read!
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