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Synopsis

An engaging guide that illustrates the significance of birds throughout history
 
Did the Cettia's Warbler inspire the opening notes of the last movement of Beethoven's Second Symphony? Who among a host of rivals wrote the best poem about the nightingale? And is there a James Bond film named after a duck? Find out the answers to these ornithological conundrums and others in this engaging book that delves into literature, science, religion, fine art, and popular culture to reveal how a bird can be far more than the sum of its feathered, winged, and webbed parts. Worshipped as gods and damned as agents of the devil in equal measure, birds have also fostered scientific breakthroughs and even helped provoke a war. This entertaining guide is full of fascinating insights into the humble bird's surprisingly large role in history and culture.

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