[Read] ➪ Foxes Unearthed: A Story of Love and Loathing in Modern Britain By Lucy Jones – Transportjobsite.co.uk



10 thoughts on “Foxes Unearthed: A Story of Love and Loathing in Modern Britain

  1. says:

    I am not sure just how many foxes there are where I am living, but I see them darting across the roads at night, caught by the headlights of the car There was even one brazen fox walking up the middle of the road at midnight once These fleeting glimpses of our largest predator left in the UK are for me quite special, but for others, this animal is considered a nasty pest and is something to be vilified In this interesting account of our tempestuous relationship with the fox Consider and cunning and crafty animal by most, Lucy Jones has delved into the folklore, fiction and her own family history and met with those that love and hate these intelligent creatures This bang up to date account of foxes goes some way to demonstrating our complex relationship with the natural world too To get a better understanding of the different perspectives, she joins a hunt and a later with the saboteurs of a following a hunt to get a better perspective as to how people feel about this animal and explores the issues that polarised people on the heated public debate on this subject.Jones has written this book about vulpes vulpes with a considered and measured approach You know whose side she is on, but she is prepared to talk about with people from each perspective and hear their views as well as taking the time to look at the evidence based on the facts and not the scaremongering from the press Worth reading for anyone interested in the most recognisable of our wild creatures.


  2. says:

    This book spun into my consciousness towards the end of last year, when I was captivated by an extract in one of those lovely anthologies from the Wildlife Trust We stared at each other, the fox and I, for a charged moment Her eyes were a pale bronze and seemed bright and aware She turned away and trotted down the street towards my house She wasn t in a rush at all We walked for a while, her in front, me a few paces behind In those seconds I got the sense that we were one and the same, mammals, predators, denizens of the earth I wanted to learn , and I have learned so much from this book.It s wonderfully readable, it holds a wealth of fascinating detail, and it is underpinned by the authors obvious love of her subject She is fair though, giving time to all interested parties, all sides of the debate and acknowledging that some of those who hate foxes have good reason and that some of those who love them may not be entirely clear sighted.She writes of riding out with huntsmen, and then seeks out evidence to evaluate their assertion that their sport is actually the most humane form of pest control and a natural way for the fox to die than poisoning or shooting And she remembers her grandfather who rode with his local hunt, leading her to an understanding of why fox hunting was loved by so many, why it thrived for so many years.Then she writes of an outing with hunt saboteurs She examines the strength of their convictions, the lengths they will go to, their treatment by huntsmen and by the authorities, and the foundations of their beliefs.Each account is vividly drawn There is remarkable drama, and extraordinary and ordinary characters are given room to share their opinions and their experiences.Other chapters consider the fox in the country and in the town.In the country there were farmers with many different attitudes Some hated foxes and regarded them as vermin who would take anything but others had experiences that suggested that wasn t their case and that it was possible to live side by side with foxes.I loved this statement Chickens aren t native to this country We domesticated one of the most dopey animals that just sits there and lays eggs with no protection So when a wild animal comes in it s the same as saying don t eat a doughnut that is sat in front of us In the town I was interested by a pest controller who loved nature but believed that there was a need to manage numbers and I could sympathise by those who had suffered damage, intrusion or injury, though I didn t always agree with their interpretation of what had happened The fox debate in the city is very much like the seagull debate down here on the coast Lucy Jones sets out the arguments, the evidence, and so many different facts and stories about foxes wonderfully well throughout.There are foxes in literature, there are foxes embedded in language, there are foxes in folklore and though I really loved that what I loved most of all was coming away with a much better understanding of the fox as a living creature.There are so many wonderful stories and details that I really can t pull out just a few to share.I will simply say that this quote expresses my feelings perfectly The fox s perceived villainy has much to do with our attitude to the earth and the way we treat it The fox is a problem only in so far as it affects our own interests and that problem is often exaggerated to suit other agendas Intentions of spite and malevolence have been projected onto the fox for many years when, in fact, it is simply a wild animal, acting according to its nature And that I love foxes but I understand why other don t and I am so pleased that I read this thought provoking and entertaining survey of our relationship with them.


  3. says:

    Foxes Unearthed, freelance journalist Lucy Jones s first book, won a Society of Authors Roger Deakin Award for nature writing If you re familiar with Patrick Barkham s Badgerlands, you ll recognize this as a book with a comparable breadth and a similar aim clearing the reputation of an often unfairly reviled British mammal Jones ranges from history to science and from mythology to children s literature in her search for the truth about foxes Given the media s obsession with fox attacks, this is a noble and worthwhile undertaking.The book proper opens with a visit to Roald Dahl s house, now a Buckinghamshire museum, where he wrote Fantastic Mr Fox Still one of the best known foxes in British literature, Dahl s Mr Fox is a Robin Hood like hero, outsmarting a trio of mean spirited farmers to provide a feast for his family Foxes seemingly innate wiliness prompts ambivalent reactions, though we admire it, but we also view it as a threat or an annoyance As Jones puts it, the fox of fables and traditional stories is a villain we cheer for Not everyone cheers, of course Under Henry VIII, the Vermin Acts of 1532 not repealed until the 1750s promised a reward to anyone who killed foxes, then considered a nuisance animal Fox hunting and the cruel sport of tossing have a long history that eventually came up against the movement towards animal welfare, starting with Jeremy Bentham in the 1740s and codified by the 1911 Protection of Animals Act Meanwhile, Jones notes, children s books advocating compassion for animals, such as Anna Sewell s Black Beauty 1877 , ensured that the message made it out of the legislative chamber and into everyday life.The second chapter is a useful survey of fox behavior Foxes are omnivores, and in recent decades have started to move into Britain s cities, where they find plenty of food to scavenge In rural settings, foxes are still the subject of farmers loathing even though they rarely take lambs and actually help keep rabbit numbers in check Still, the stereotype of foxes killing for fun instead of for hunger persists, whereas they in fact cache their surplus food Chapter 3 asks whether fox numbers have reached pest status and considers various control strategies, from straightforward culling to the non lethal methods supported by conservationists.I enjoyed Jones s meetings with figures from both sides of the debate She goes along on a fox hunt, but also meets or quotes animal rights activists, academics, and high profile nature promoters like Chris Packham All told, though, I felt this book could have been closer to 200 pages than 300 Most chapters are very long, and some could easily be combined and or shortened For instance, Chapter 1 relays the amount of information about fox hunting that most readers will be prepared to absorb, yet it s then the subject of two chapters.This is an important book for correcting misconceptions, but your enjoyment of it will likely be in proportion to your personal interest in the subject In terms of fonts and cover design, though, you re unlikely to come across a gorgeous book this year.Originally published with images on my blog, Bookish Beck.


  4. says:

    I fell in love with this book from the get go just because of its cover, not that I m biased about orange whiskery creatures, you understand.But putting aside the glory of its cover, this book really brings home our love and loathing of this most enigmatic of predators For some, it s a creature of magic and mystery, whilst for others its a source of constant misery as hen coops up and down the land are targeted on an almost nightly basis And then of course, there s the altogether contentious issue of fox hunting which I m not going to dwell on, except to say that the book covers this hot topic with great insight.I loved the readability of the book, combining fact with fiction, folklore and magic with cold hard facts, but always, what shines through is the author s commitment to telling it like it is, with no superfluous waffle , not overly fanciful , just a really interesting look at the role foxes have in our rural and urban environments The detail is good, the author s opinions are clearly expressed and throughout the book are intelligent observations from specialist contributors which help to give the book an overall balanced view.There s something rather special about this beautiful wild creature and if you ve been privileged to see one really close then you get the idea of both their vulnerability and their utter strength Some years ago, I was lucky to be able to see foxes regularly at play in the early morning and it was perfectly magical to watch the rough and tumble of fox cubs with an early sun glinting on their russet coats, which were a darker red than I expected But to watch this fascinating wild creature relaxed and playful, delighting in the sights and scents of an early Summer morning was just stunning and it is something that I will never forget.I enjoy reading books which teach me something new and in Foxes Unearthed, I learned an abundance of facts about Vulpes Vulpes which I didn t know, and that s where the delight of this book lies, in learning something new and precious about one of our very special wild creatures.


  5. says:

    The author had a grandfather who hunted foxes, a Scot She thinks that his experience in WW1 was partly the reason Men came home looking for the adrenalin and camaraderie of the war Other people hunted just because they like horses and hounds and customs Hunting is now illegal in Britain but drag hunts continue and sometimes they kill foxes We start by finding the fox in fables, folk tales, furs and rural names like Todhunter Moving on to a night with a fox shooting professional, which can be distressing Be prepared for a few days out with hunts, including the saboteurs point of view Urban foxes, rescued foxes and foxes in the media conclude the picture We re told foxes are shot than ever, foxes generally do not take live lambs, and foxes may spread wildflower seeds in their scat No mention of Monica Edwards s badger watching books in which she twice saw a boar badger kill a vixen denning near his sett See The Valley And The Farm The author does not use correct hunting terms so I winced every time she said the hounds or tails or bark I think it would not have taken long to get to know these terms and it would make the book authentic and better researched I also note that she does not mention that hunts often used to stop up the earth entrances overnight while the fox was out prowling, so the hunted fox could find none of his or her safe tunnels Did nobody tell her She several times mentions digging foxes out with terriers and other skulky practices We are told that police used to be on the side of hunting landowners, now that has shifted somewhat But police crushed a vehicle belonging to hare coursers and publicised it, whereas they do not seize and crush from fox hunters Class bias She leaves the query hanging, so presumably the police were not asked or did not reply.Notes P255 274 I counted 22 names that I could be sure were female, including Mary Poppins This is an unbiased review, and I never hunted.


  6. says:

    Thanks to a terrific review from a Goodreads friend Clare my attention was drawn to this book, and being Team Fox I just had to read it Foxes are one of my favourite animals, however as an introduced species that threaten our native wildlife, farm animals and suburban backyard pets such as rabbits and chickens they are not so popular I love seeing them but almost all of the ones I have seen have been in suburbia I was that commuter on my way home from work one afternoon who was surprised and delighted to spy a fox sitting beside the train line train spotting in broad daylight I found this book to be a brilliant read as it gave me an entertaining background into foxes and their history It also provided me with an insight into the way they are viewed and treated in Britain the country that they are native to.


  7. says:

    I very nearly gave this 5 stars A really wonderful, balanced, sometimes tragic view of people s relationship with our vulpine neighbours As much a book about the vast spectrum of human kindness, stupidity and hatred, as it is a book about foxes, this book is if anything, honest, and is genuinely looking for truth and understanding, rather than the sensationalist views on either side of the pro fox, anti fox coin There is of course, at least in my mind only one correct view on this subject, but understanding why somebody may have an opposing view is a fruitful and effective use of time than blind condemnation or hatred This book provides just that a must read if you care about native flora and fauna.


  8. says:

    Unearthed explores in detail the relationships we humans have with these fascinating creatures.Let me say at the outset that Foxes Unearthed will not appeal to all readers I will confess that I didn t read the book all in one go, but returned to it over a couple of weeks Those with a particular passion for or interest in foxes will, I think, devour it rapidly It is not a cosy celebration of the fox, but rather an erudite essay exploring our perceptions and responses so that it says as much about the human condition as it does about the fox I thought the passage about the Alconbury incident was an apposite example and I m not sure I always liked the truth about humanity I was forced to confront reading Foxes Unearthed it wasn t always a comfortable experience.The writing is intricately researched and I appreciated the notes, bibliography and index so that Foxes Unearthed felt like a perfect lesson in presenting material in an accessible form to an audience I must also just say a word about the chapter illustrations by Tim Oakenfull They are just stunning.There was so much to learn about the fox, from its Latin vulpes vulpes through its biblical references to our modern day attitudes I thought that Lucy Jones presented her material in a very balanced way, often providing thought provoking examples and comments and making sure the reader has a full picture So often, as she herself says, attitudes to foxes and their control does depend on who you ask.I definitely preferred the passages where Lucy Jones writes personally and lyrically than factually, but that is personal preference as I m not a great non fiction reader I m honestly not sure if I enjoyed reading Foxes Unearthed or not but it is most definitely an important book It made me question my own thought processes, it showed me how to reconsider my own very pro fox stance and be authoritative in my opinions and it taught me a very great deal about life in Britain, about foxes and about humans especially I really recommend reading Foxes Unearthed whatever your usual genre preference.


  9. says:

    I enjoyed reading this book which is now out in paperback.This book is about Foxes hunted Foxes, urban Foxes, hen eating Foxes, Foxes in literature and country lore Foxes in our heads and in our hearts It s a well written largely affectionate but not sentimental look at Foxes from lots of angles and it s a very good read.It reminded me of what I always thought to be a strange contrast between the conversations I would sometimes have at Game Fairs well, I was mostly expected to listen rather than discuss when I was told how verminous the Fox was and that they had to be killed for their own sakes, for the sake of wildlife and to protect the very fabric of rural society, and the huge numbers of prints of drawings and paintings of wily old Renard, dressed as a country gentleman which were on sale at the same event and presumably sometimes found their way into the houses of the spluttering countrymen who were telling me what was what We should all read this book to see Foxes from different angles and to have some myths dispelled.I rarely see Foxes I wish I did When I do see them it is often walking rather confidently down a London street as I head back to my bed for the night than out in the countryside I don t recall ever seeing a Fox in my street or even in my small rural town in over 30 years of living here.This review first appeared on Mark Avery s blog www.markavery.info blog on 9 April 2017


  10. says:

    Us Brits have a fraught relationship with our wildlife We complain about the supposed negative impact wild animals have on our lives eating pets, killing chickens and livestock yet also campaign to put an end to fox hunting, badger culling and the like Around the area where I come from, badgers have been a common sight, albeit mostly dead ones, for as long as I can remember However I can count on just two hands the times I ve seen a fox They seem so elusive and mysterious, and it s understandable why so many of us are captivated by them.This book focuses on folklore surrounding foxes, myths or their misrepresentation in the media for example that their impact on livestock, household pets and even children is wildly exaggerated , their behaviour, fox hunting both sides to the debate and I read a review on complaining that this only focused on British foxes and too much on hunting so if that s something that would put you off then bear that in mind This is not a long book but it did take me longer than usual to get through, not because I didn t get along with the style of writing or the content, just that there is a lot of information to take in Well researched, impartial and fascinating If you had any interest in the natural world then I recommend checking this one out.


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Foxes Unearthed: A Story of Love and Loathing in Modern Britain download Foxes Unearthed: A Story of Love and Loathing in Modern Britain, read online Foxes Unearthed: A Story of Love and Loathing in Modern Britain, kindle ebook Foxes Unearthed: A Story of Love and Loathing in Modern Britain, Foxes Unearthed: A Story of Love and Loathing in Modern Britain dac10b675975 As One Of The Largest Predators Left In Britain, The Fox Is Captivating A Comfortably Familiar Figure In Our Country Landscapes An Intriguing Flash Of Bright Eyed Wildness In Our TownsYet No Other Animal Attracts Such Controversy, Has Provoked Column Inches Or Been So Ambiguously Woven Into Our Culture Over Centuries, Perceived Variously As A Beautiful Animal, A Cunning Rogue, A Vicious Pest And A Worthy Foe As Well As Being The Most Ubiquitous Of Wild Animals, It Is Also The Least UnderstoodIn Foxes Unearthed Lucy Jones Investigates The Truth About Foxes In A Media Landscape That Often Carries Complex Agendas Delving Into Fact, Fiction, Folklore And Her Own Family History, Lucy Travels The Length Of Britain To Find Out First Hand Why These Animals Incite Such Passionate Emotions, Revealing Our Rich And Complex Relationship With One Of Our Most Loved And Most Vilified Wild Animals This Compelling Narrative Adds Much Needed Depth To The Debate On Foxes, Asking What Our Attitudes Towards The Red Fox Say About Us And, Ultimately, About Our Relationship With The Natural World