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Books

Falling in love with birds of prey

A review of H is for Hawk, by Helen Macdonald. It’s when describing the murderous, sulky, fractious birds themselves that this story comes alive

9 August 2014

9:00 AM

9 August 2014

9:00 AM

H is for Hawk Helen Macdonald

Cape, pp.310, £14.99, ISBN: 9780224097000

Is it the feathers that do the trick? The severely truculent expressions on their faces? Or is it their ancient origins? Or the places where they live?

Whatever their secret, birds of prey have exercised an extraordinary hold on human beings for tens of thousands of years. In the bad old days, their fans ranged from ancient Teutonic kings to Hitler’s right-hand-man Hermann Göring.

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