FOXES UNEARTHED: A STORY OF LOVE AND LOATHING IN MODERN BRITAIN
By: Lucy Jones
Longlisted for the Wainwright Prize 2017
As one of the largest predators left in Britain, the fox is captivating: a comfortably familiar figure in our country landscapes; an intriguing flash of bright-eyed wildness in our towns.
Yet no other animal attracts such controversy, has provoked more column inches or been so ambiguously woven into our culture over centuries, perceived variously as a beautiful animal, a cunning rogue, a vicious pest and a worthy foe. As well as being the most ubiquitous of wild animals, it is also the least understood.
In Foxes Unearthed Lucy Jones investigates the truth about foxes in a media landscape that often carries complex agendas. Delving into fact, fiction, folklore and her own family history, Lucy travels the length of Britain to find out first-hand why these animals incite such passionate emotions, revealing our rich and complex relationship with one of our most loved – and most vilified – wild animals. This compelling narrative adds much-needed depth to the debate on foxes, asking what our attitudes towards the red fox say about us – and, ultimately, about our relationship with the natural world.
Engaging and hugely enjoyable
- Tom Holland, Times Literary Supplement
Brave, bold and honest – finally the truth about foxes
- Chris Packham, broadcaster and naturalist
A sensitive and illuminating investigation . . . a beautiful book that will change the way you think about the fox
- Rob Cowen, author of Common Ground
Jones writes with real feeling about the hold of foxes on the human imagination, and her own deep affection for the beguiling creatures
- Jane Shilling, Daily Mail
The fox has for centuries been held as the incarnation of such unlovely traits as deviousness, cunning and cruelty. … However, the characteristic that emerges most strongly from the nature writer Lucy Jones’s book about Vulpes vulpes is its ambiguity. … [An] intriguing compendium of fox lore.
- Michael Prodger, The Times
Jones’s history of our complex relationship with the fox is revealing… to discover there was an 18th-century sport of ‘fox tossing’ almost makes this worth the purchase alone
- John Lewis-Stempel, The Times Books of the Year 2016
A fantastic tour of the fox and us – Lucy Jones takes an intelligent, measured and humane look at the intimate, contradictory and occasionally crazy relationship between Homo sapiens and Vulpes vulpes
- Patrick Barkham, author of Badgerlands and The Butterfly Isles
A foxy little book, offering a rich brew of nature and history and culture. An exemplary instance of fine research leading to balance and sanity on a subject usually lacking in either. Deeply enjoyable and informative
- Sara Maitland, author of Gossip from the Forest: The Tangled Roots of Our Forests and Fairytales
Fascinating … [a] well-balanced exploration of our tempestuous relationship
- Country Life
Beautifully written and signals a conspicuous new talent … She traces the place of the fox in our culture over many centuries
- Simon Heffer, Daily Telegraph
A fascinating discussion of the history of our attitude to the fox … it will almost certainly teach you something new
- The Spectator
This well-researched, engaging account of their lives, behaviour and cultural impact from fox-loving journalist Jones is filled with interesting information and evocative description
- Top 20 Holiday Reads, i-newspaper