In the Footsteps of Audubon

Princeton Univ. Nov. 2022. 256p. tr. from French by Martha Le Cars. ISBN 9780691237688. $39.95. NAT HIST
A stop at La Gerbetière, the former home of John James Audubon, inspired this work by French artist and biologist Clavreul (Dreaming of Africa). He resolved to travel to the United States to retrace the famous ornithologist’s route when he compiled his illustrated record of the birds of North America in the 19th century. Clavreul followed this route through multiple trips over 15 years. A map of Audubon’s travels is provided in the table of contents with the main locations numbered from one to seven, each number corresponding to a chapter, which documents his experiences and provides the most impressive feature of this book: more than 250 of his own watercolor paintings of what he saw along the way. Besides birds, this includes other types of wildlife, landscapes, nests, and even modern cityscapes. Each chapter also includes some of Audubon’s original sketches and quotes from his personal journals. In addition, this work includes a foreword by American ornithologist David Allen Sibley, a bibliography, and an index of species illustrated.
VERDICT This visually striking guide honors the beautiful American landscape as it appears today. Recommended for fans of Audubon or for those interested in the natural world or art.
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