Dodo: From Extinction to Icon

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9780007145720: Dodo: From Extinction to Icon

A comprehensive illustrated guide to the dodo: its history, natural history, and its literary and cultural legacy. The extinction of the dodo from the shores of Mauritius followed closely on the arrival of Dutch and Portuguese sailors on the island in the 16th century. Using a diverse number of sources, the author describes the behaviour and myths surrounding this unusual and iconic bird. The first three chapters investigate the dodo's natural history through the use of historical documents, illustrations, paintings, old drawings and literary sources. Its behaviour is examined in the quotes from 16 of the written reports by travellers to the island, and the anatomy of the dodo is investigated from the bone records kept by anatomists and naturalists from the 16th to the 19th centuries. The mythology surrounding the dodo has grown ever since it became extinct. Lewis Carroll's use of the dodo in "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" elevated the bird to iconic status and sparked a spate of Dodo characters in newspapers, adverts and cartoons. In chapter four, the author investigates how man incorporated the image of the dodo into literature and the arts to become the powerful cultural icon that it is today. He then looks more closely at two other species: the Solitary Dodo, from the island of Rodrigues in the Indian Ocean and the White Dodo of the Reunion Island. Both are now extinct, but are thought to have been related to the Mauritian Dodo.

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About the Author:

Errol Fuller is a painter of sporting subjects, particularly boxing, who lives in Tunbridge Wells, Kent. His interest in the curiosities of natural history has resulted in three other books, The Lost Birds of Paradise, The Great Auk and Extinct Birds.

From Publishers Weekly:

Rarely have humans ruminated so much about so little, as in the case of the dodo. As amateur naturalist Fuller points out in this precise, charming and beautifully illustrated volume, of all extinct beasts none, except perhaps a few dinos, grip the imagination like the chubby, swan-sized, flightless bird (a type of pigeon in fact) that Europeans first encountered on its island home of Mauritius, in the Indian Ocean, in 1598, and that was gone forever only 90 years later (a victim most likely of European predators both human and animal). Today all that remains of the dodo are some bones, a ravaged foot and head, and a few primary accounts and illustrations. Yet the dodo is wildly popular, mostly as an "icon of extinction," first spurred to prominence, Fuller explains, by Sir John Tenniel's illustrations for Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and now the subject of dozens of books, fiction and nonfiction, its image and name attached to nearly every type of object (from tea towels to notepads to houses); yet "genuine dodo literature...is characterized by its remarkably poor scholarship." Fuller rectifies that flaw here, explaining exactly what we do and don't know about the dodo, and reproducing important primary material, both words and pictures, as well as a handsome selection of secondary material. This is the fourth book Fuller has written about extinct birds (The Great Auk, etc.); with its smart, informed text, wealth of illustrations (200 color), very reasonable price and terrific subject, it's liable to be the most popular yet.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Book Description Collins, London, 2002. hardbound. profusely illustrated (illustrator). 1st Edition, 1st printing (10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1) of this profusely illustrated, comprehensive guide to the Dodo in history and natural history, and tracing its legacy in literature and culture; illustrated every page in colour and b&w; this copy has one tiny nick to underside extremity of rear board, o.w. VG+/VG+ (dustwrapper mylar protected). Dustwrapper. 180pp. square 8vo. Very Good tight and clean in like dustwrapper Very Good tight and clean in like dustwrapper. Bookseller Inventory # 13432

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Book Description Collins, London, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: Near Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: near fine. First edition. Square 8vo (220 x 210 mm), 180 pp, colour and b/w illustrations throughout, facsimiles, maps, bibliography, index, decorative end-papers. An illustrated guide to the dodo: its history, natural history, and its cultural legacy. The extinction of the dodo from the shores of Mauritius came in the 16th century and using a number of sources, the author describes the behaviour and myths surrounding this iconic bird. Bookseller Inventory # E10876

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