The Book of Vanishing Species: Illustrated Lives (Hardcover)
Our Earth is more beautiful and more diverse than we can possibly conceive of.
The Book of Vanishing Species is a stunning homage to the planet's most mysterious, bizarre and wondrous creatures and plants. Their stories are captivating, from the eyeless and tiny dragonlike olm to the hawksbill turtle, whose gender will be determined by the temperature of the sand it is born in. These species may have survived for hundreds of thousands of years by cleverly adapting to their environments, but their future remains far from certain.
The book brings to life red cranes as they dance and bow for the sheer joy of movement, trees that breathe out a haze of misty atmosphere for insects that only feast on one kind of flower, a deep-ocean snail quietly building its shell from iron... and each one of them is illuminated with an exquisite illustration. As you turn the pages, there emerges a network of life that stretches across and around the planet in a dazzling web of existence.
This is both a love letter to life on Earth, and an urgent summons to protect what is precious and lovely in this world.
About the Author
Beatrice Forshall is an artist whose work draws on the natural world. Her exquisite hand-coloured, drypoint engravings revolve around wildlife and themes central to conservation. In 2018 she was artist in residence at the Cambridge Conservation Initiative (CCI), a pioneering collaboration between researchers, policymakers and practitioners focussed on transforming the global understanding and conservation of our natural world. The Book of Vanishing Species is her contribution to the cause.
“Through her prose and illustrations, Forshall makes a passionate case for protecting each and every one of these species” —The Times
“Forshall might not have a scientific background, but her poetic, human perspective and unique artistry are incredibly moving... The Book of Vanishing Species is both a celebration of our world and an urgent call to action” —BBC Wildlife Magazine
“As well as a beautiful celebration, this book is a call to arms” —Chloë Ashby
“Our disappearing flora and fauna are lovingly described and wittily illustrated in Beatrice Forshall's homage to what we are about to lose” —Daunts Books