Timothy's Book | Granta

  • Published: 14/06/2007
  • ISBN: 9781846270550
  • 129x20mm
  • 192 pages

Timothy’s Book

Verlyn Klinkenborg

Timothy, a wise and eloquent tortoise, has spent some fifty years among humans, living in their midst in the lovely Hampshire village of Selborne, the occasional object of study for his host, Gilbert White, whose letters famously comprise The Natural History of Selborne. But Timothy is inclined to study too. His observations of the natural world that surrounds him can match those of his master for aptness, precision, illumination and beauty – his gaze falls with equal aplomb on the flitting martins and swallows, trooping frogs, mating harvest mice, hares nibbling at the cabbage and, above all, on those ‘tottering, stilt-gaited beasts’, their instincts so derelict, who tower over Timothy and make their odd ways known to him. Who would guess that a tortoise marooned in the heart of old England could tell us so much? This is a wise, severe and unforgettable old tortoise’s own short history of humanity. It is perfect for the Telegraph-to-Attenborough readership, for twitchers, ramblers and National Trusters, for readers of Richard Mabey’s Nature Cure and Richard Benson’s The Farm, Horatio Clare and The Lore of the Land.

Brilliant and audacious

Richard Mabey, author of NATURE CURE

A charming and most enjoyable work ... Klinkenborg's prose is a pleasure to read

Richard Adams, author of WATERSHIP DOWN

This tortoise-eye view of life ... is a treat to read

Financial Times

The Author

Verlyn Klinkenborg is the author of three previous books: Making Hay, The Last Fine Time and The Rural Life. He is on the editorial board of the New York Times, and he lives on a farm in upstate New York with his wife.

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