About Me

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Victoria, Australia
I am an author of Young Adult Fiction books. I worked as a teacher in the Pacific Islands for seven years. Whilst in the Solomon Islands I taught PSSC English before the ethnic tension in 2000 forced a change of plans. I love Pacific literature, art and music. You can find me on Facebook at Beth Montgomery Author.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Drawn from Paradise by David Attenborough and Errol Fuller

Drawn from Paradise (Harper Collins, 2012)
It was a delight to read this coffee-table book about the European discovery, art and natural history of the birds of paradise. The illustrations are works from artists over the centuries dating back to lithographs from the 17th Century. Birds of Paradise reached Europe long before Europeans explored the island of New Guinea. Plumes and skins were traded along what was once known as the spice route and found their way to the royal houses of Europe. As the hunters took the feet and wings off the birds before they were traded, Europeans of the time assumed that birds of paradise floated in the air and never roosted.
   This book shows the development of our knowledge of birds of paradise over the centuries and the way in which they were named by taxonomists.
   For those of us who adore these birds, this book is a 'must have' as it shows their important place in history and indeed, in European art.

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