Pasta for Nightingales: A 17th-Century Handbook of Bird-Care and Folklore

Pasta for Nightingales: A 17th-Century Handbook of Bird-Care and Folklore


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The first-ever English translation of a seventeenth-century ornithology text, complete with historic watercolor illustrations

This beautifully illustrated book brings together the newly commissioned, first-ever English translation of one of the earliest studies in ornithology with the original watercolors, now part of the British Royal Collection, that provided the inspiration for its engraved illustrations. The watercolors, created for the “Paper Museum” of the seventeenth-century scholar and art collector Cassiano dal Pozzo, are here combined with the translated text of amateur naturalist Pietro Olina’s original Uccelliera of 1622 to create a new work that provides a fascinating glimpse of ornithology’s earliest days—a period when folklore informed natural history studies as much as science did.

With meditations on the “epileptic” robin redbreast and a recipe for chickpea pasta meant to satisfy a nightingale and keep it in song, this work is an enchanting re-presentation of natural history literature. Retaining the character of Olina’s original design, this unique book describes over forty much-loved species, and is sure to please bird watchers, naturalists, and antiquarian book lovers alike.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780300232882
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 04/24/2018
Pages: 144
Sales rank: 1,133,646
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 7.50(h) x (d)

About the Author

Cassiano dal Pozzo was a Roman art patron, and his seventeenth-century Museo Cartaceo housed hundreds of scientific drawings. Pietro Olina was an amateur naturalist and author of one of the earliest ornithology books. Translator Kate Clayton graduated from Oxford and studied for a postgraduate diploma in translation at Westminster University. She lives in London. Helen Macdonald is a writer and naturalist and author of H Is for Hawk.

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