Diana Athill

All Things Bright & Beautiful

Claxton: Field Notes from a Small Planet


Jonathan Cape 238pp £14.99 order from our bookshop

The naturalist Mark Cocker lives in a Norfolk village called Claxton, where most of what he chronicles in this book took place. I spent my first twenty-five years in a nearby village, and loved my place as intensely as he loves his. What’s more, I believed that I knew it intimately. I am now ashamed of myself. The ‘Claxton Parish Species List’ appended to Cocker’s text explains why. It runs to 1,108 items. This awe-inspiring list is presented under a number of headings: Fungi, Vascular Plants, Bryophytes, Lichens, Flatworms, Slugs and Snails, Millipedes, Spiders and Relatives, Dragonflies, Bugs and Relatives, Butterflies and Moths, Birds, Mammals, and so on. Never again will I claim to know a place ‘intimately’.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • What a charming, candid blogpost from one of our dear contributing editors. ,
    • RT : The first guess from one of my 1st graders was “death” and such an awed, somber, reflective hush fell over the clas… ,
    • Merry Christmas from Literary Review! Hope your stockings were laden with books, and the tree bending under the weight of further books....,
    • Last minute Christmas gift required? We're offering discounts on all our subscriptions (20% no less!) with the cod… ,
    • In this issue's 'Silenced Voices', Lucy Popescu writes of Thailand's restrictive lese-majesty laws and their latest… ,
    • "Gunn was a disciple of the American formalist Yvor Winters, but Winters’s poetry could never give off such a scent… ,
    • Christmas gift hunting? Why not give the gift of being even better read? We're offering discounts on all our subscr… ,