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Audubon's Elephant By Duff Hart-Davis

Audubon's Elephant
by Duff Hart-Davis

In Stock
$17.99
+10% GST
Drawing on Audubon's journals, letters to his wife and the archives of the families with whom he stayed and worked, this book seeks to recreate Audubon's 12 years in Britain in search of patrons and publishers. It is the story of an obsessive genius and his observations of people, places and events in early 19th century England and Scotland.
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Audubon's Elephant Summary


Audubon's Elephant: The story of John James Audubon's epic struggle to publish The Birds of America by Duff Hart-Davis

Illegitimate, half-French, half-American, poorly educated, chronically short of money and obsessed with birds, Audubon came to England in 1826 to find a publisher for his extraordinary paintings. He insisted that they must be reproduced on double-elephant folio paper - sheets almost 40 inches by 30 - so that even the largest species could be represented life size, and no-one in America had been prepared to tackle such a gigantic task. With his dramatic good looks and flamboyant Woodsman's clothes he attracted attention wherever he went. Drawing on Audubon's journals, letters to his wife and the archives of the families with whom he stayed and worked, Duff Hart-Davis recreates Audubon's twelve years in Britain in search of patrons and publishers. It is an extraordinary story of an obsessive genius and his observations of people, places and events in early nineteenth-century England and Scotland.

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Audubon's Elephant Reviews


'America honours Audubon's memory by giving his name to the foremost conservation society in that country. Over here, we revere him more for the spectacular plates. Hart-Davis's book reproduces a number of them on pages that are about one-twentieth the size of a double-elephant. They still look magnificent, and not surprisingly. They are, after all, among the most memorable images of birds ever produced.' -- David Attenborough THE SUNDAY TIMES (21.9.03) 'Duff Hart-Davis recounts with verve and much fascinating long-lost detail the hugely entertaining story of how the handsome, warm, long-haired frontiersman charmed his way into late-Georgian society...Audubon's Elephant is beautifully illustrated and will foster renewed interest in Audubon, not only for his art, but also for the man, optimistic, enthusiastic, irrepressible.' -- Michael McCarthy INDEPENDENT (10.10.03) '[a] vividly written and copiously illustrated book.' -- Simon Barnes TIMES (20.9.03) '...elegant and beautifully produced...Duff Hart-Davis has buffed Audubon's travails and wanderings into a picaresque tale. He captures the personalities and habitats of all thos involved with a bird-spotter's eye for telling details and in prose that is entirely free from nature-mimsy...an exceptionally vivid account of an extraordinary man and his equally extraordinary project.' -- Michael Prodger SUNDAY TELEGRAPH (28.9.03) 'Making valuable use of Audubon's own writings, and fully in tune with his way of thinking...Hart-Davis has produced an attractive account of a publishing story that will be enjoyed by both specialists and by those who don't know one end of a Roseate Spoonbill from another.' -- Robert Douglas-Fairhurst TELEGRAPH (27.9.03) 'Hart-Davis's book focuses on the man's energy and obstinacy, as well as on his great luck in attracting partners - such as his printmaker, Robert Harvell of London. But fittingly for a book celebrating a book, the great glory of Audubon's Elephant is its own colour illustrations, which reproduce more han 30 of the original plates.' -- Robin Blake FINANCIAL TIMES magazine (27.9.03) 'gorgeous reproductions...' -- Michael Herron GEOGRAPHICAL (October issue) 'fascinating facts and beautiful reproductions of his [Audubon's] works.' HOME AND COUNTRY (November issue) 'Duff Hart-Davis sets Audubon and his world vividly before us...This delightful book does Audubon and his creation proud.' -- Huon Mallalieu COUNTRY LIFE (16.10.03) 'Excellent illustrations are well used in this beautifully produced book. It is both an enticing introduction to Audubon, and a sobering reflection on the human cost of genius and great achievement.' -- Paddy Woodworth IRISH TIMES (25.10.03) 'A remarkable story by any standards and one which Hart-Davis, aided by lavish examples of Audubon's work, brings spectacularly to life.' YORKSHIRE EVENING POST (11.10.03) 'For those who cannot afford the USD8.8 million paid for the last complete Audubon set sent from this country to the United States in 2002, this it is the next best thing.' -- James Buchan GUARDIAN (29.11.03) 'this is an attractive book, beautifully produced with a number of luxurious colour plates.' -- Isabella Tree LITERARY REVIEW (December 2003) 'Duff Hart-Davis...[is to be] congratulated for producing engaging accounts of the triumphs and travails that Audubon experienced in Europe.' -- Mark V. Barrow Jr TLS (12.12.03) 'Hart-Davis has produced a compact, elegant and readable biography.' -- David Knight NATURE (December 2003) 'This is a carefully researched book and vividly conveys Audubon's tenacity, energy and determination in realising his stupendous project.' -- Johnny de Uphaugh THE FIELD (1.1.04) 'This portrayal of Audubon's life, along with the beautifully executed, dramatic and vibrant colour plates, reflects the man's unfailing energy and obsessive determination. Following him through the highs and lows of his quest for a publisher is a great read, especially for anyone interested in social history and art.' WILDFOWL & WETLANDS MAGAZINE (Spring 2004)

About Duff Hart-Davis


Duff Hart-Davis is an author, journalist and countryman and for fifeteen years until 2001 he wrote the 'Country Matters' column for The Independent. He has ghosted the memoirs of SAS hero Peter de la Billiere and the fiction of Chris Ryan. His encyclopaedic FAUNA BRITANNICA was published in 2002 by W&N. He is married with two children.

Additional information

GOR003347341
Audubon's Elephant: The story of John James Audubon's epic struggle to publish The Birds of America by Duff Hart-Davis
Duff Hart-Davis
Used - Very Good
Hardback
Orion Publishing Co
2003-09-11
192
029782967X
9780297829676
N/A
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us.