Category: Uncategorized

  • Strange friends on the Dark Mountain?

    The Dark Mountain Manifesto has been formative for me. It seems churlish – indeed nearly patricidal – to criticise it. But I’ve lived with it now for long enough to see it more clearly than I did, and I am uneasy now about some of it. It is not Kingsnorth’s and Hine’s delight in apocalypse…

  • BBC Radio 4 programme on violence in nature writing

    I recently presented a programme for BBC Radio 4 entitled ‘Tooth and Claw’. A link to the programme is here It made it onto ‘Pick of the Week’. It was brilliantly produced by Michael Umney, and a joy to make. It examines a conundrum that has long interested me: how can someone with a clairvoyant…

  • Some recent nature books

    Interview by Cal Flyn (re-posted from https://fivebooks.com ) There has been a rash of books about epiphanic incursions into wilderness—but the best nature writing digs too into the complexities of our relationship with the natural world, says Charles Foster, the bestselling author of Being A Beast. Here, he discusses the best nature books of 2018.…

  • Veterinary homeopathy and the naivety of reductionists

    For anyone who can’t be bothered to read all of this post, this is not a defence of homeopathy’s claims of efficacy. Just saying. The Council of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (the RCVS is the body charged by statute with regulation of the UK veterinary profession) recently issued a position statement on ‘complementary…

  • Lockley’s rules

    Shortly off to Skokholm, to make a serious start on the sea book. And so of course I’m reading Ronald Lockley. He’s magnificent. Here, from ‘The Way to an Island’ (Dent, 1941, pp. 123-124) are his two rules for living (articulated when he’d just left school), along with his comments: ‘[The rules] were simple: just…

  • Ig Nobel Prize for Biology

    Very pleased to announce that I have won an Ig Nobel Prize for Biology for the work in ‘Being a Beast’.

  • Baillie Gifford Non-Fiction Prize long list

    Delighted that ‘Being a Beast’ has been long-listed for the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction (formerly the Samuel Johnson Prize). There are some wonderful books on the list: I’m not holding my breath.

  • New York Times Bestseller

    Delighted to announce that ‘Being a Beast’ is a New York Times Bestseller.

  • Emotions in the wild

    This is an exchange, originally published here on the History of Emotions blog, with Thomas Dixon. Thomas’s questions are in bold italics. Your experiments in becoming a beast seem to have been motivated by something like E. M. Forster’s motto “Only connect” – but applied to non-human animals. Did you end up feeling that you…

  • Being a Beast talks in the UK

    Currently scheduled 2016 UK talks are: 9 February: Royal Geographical Society 5 March: Words by the Water Festival 10 April: Oxford Literary Festival 23 April: Bristol Festival of Ideas 5 May: Chipping Campden Literary Festival 22 May: Wood Festival 27 May: Greenwich Literary Festival 8 June: Waterstones, Oxford 11 June: Cheltenham Science Festival 19 June:…