'Man and the Natural World, an encyclopaedic study of man's relationship to animals and plants, is completely engrossing ... It explains everything - why we eat what we do, why we plant this and not that, why we keep pets, why we like some animals and not others, why we kill the things we kill and love the things we love ... It is often a funny book and one to read again and again' Paul Theroux, Sunday Times
'The English historian Keith Thomas has revealed modes of thought and ways of life deeply strange to us' Hilary Mantel, New York Review of Books
'A treasury of unusual historical anecdote ... a delight to read and a pleasure to own' Auberon Waugh, Sunday Telegraph
'A dense and rich work ... the return to the grass roots of our own environmental convictions is made by the most enchantingly minor paths' Ronald Blythe, Guardian
Keith Thomas is a Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. He was formerly President of Corpus Christi College and, before that, Professor of Modern History and Fellow of St John's College. RELIGION AND DECLINE OF MAGIC, his first book, won one of the two Wolfson Literary Awards for History in 1972. He was knighted in 1988 for services to the study of history.