Ever thought about the diversity of life on our planet, the sheer number of species that have trod, flapped, gamboled and slithered across the earth in the millions of years since its inception? We have, in a passing fashion though, because dwelling on thoughts like that is a dangerous pastime that should only be approached by academic professionals in hushed libraries.
We do however have a lot of time for the kind of book that puts these complex and intimidating thoughts into perspective, breaking them down into simpler more manageable components. The Book of Barely Imagined Beings is a volume that achieves this objective perfectly, cutting a swathe through history and examining some of the animals that we’ve got the wrong idea about over the centuries, a bestiary of underestimated creatures and mythicised beasts. It turns out some of the animals we share our planet with are much more fascinating that we could ever imagine.
Thick with witty reflections on natural history and a huge number of luxurious illustrations The Book of Barely Imagined Beings is an impressively generous volume, which should come as no surprise for a publication from one of our favourites, Granta.