My Natural History

The Animal Kingdom and How It Shaped Me

by Simon Barnes

  • Published: 03 Mar 2011
  • Price: £8.99
  • Format: Paperback
  • Format: Ebook
  • Extent: 256p
  • ISBN: 9781907595288
  • Buy it now from
  • Buy it now from Waterstones

In My Natural History Simon Barnes, like a modern-day Gerald Durrell, weaves together the story of his life via the animals and the natural encounters that have shaped it. From the greater horseshoe bat that transported Barnes from the dull classrooms of his youth, to the great whale which marked the moment he knew he was going to be a writer, from Himalayan Kingfishers in India, to majestic lions in the Luangwa valley, each animal represents a piece in the puzzle of Barnes’s life.

With its humour and poetry, every page fizzing with Barnes’s infectious enthusiasm, My Natural History cannot fail to delight and enthrall any lover of the wild world.

“My Natural History fizzes with verve, romance and delight – and more epiphanies than could reasonably be expected in one lifetime.” – The Times

“Barnes is a committed naturalist, with a wonderful knowledge of wildlife and a gift for bringing his enthusiasm to life – He has a deft turn of phrase and a lyrical style.” – Rosie Boycott

“Reading Barnes’s prose is a bit like peeling a rather elegant onion, as he gradually reveals secrets about his life through the medium of the natural world. My Natural History will delight Barnes’ loyal readers and win him new ones.” – BBC Wildlife Magazine

“Few memoirs have been moulded around so inviting a conceit as this. Barnes writing is lovely and his animals are nicely observed, yet this is a book whose appeal derives as much from the author’s generous spirit as the story he is telling.” – TLS

“Barnes brings the animal kingdom to life. This book will inspire people about wildlife.” – The Independent

About Simon Barnes

Simon Barnes is the multi-award-winning chief sportswriter for The Times. He is also a novelist, nature writer and horseman, and the bestselling author of a dozen books, including How to be a Bad Birdwatcher and The Meaning of Sport (Short Books). He lives in Suffolk with his family.

Other books by this author

<a href=""><strong>How To Be Wild</strong></a><br /><a href="" class="plain-link">In How to be Wild, Barnes takes us on a year-long journey, from one raucous spring to the next, with elephants and mosquitoes, dolphins and flying squirrels, giraffes and butterflies as his companions. </a><a href=""><img  src="" border="0" 		width="160px" 	height="244px" alt="" /></a><a href=""><strong>The Meaning of Sport</strong></a><br /><a href="" class="plain-link">In <em>The Meaning of Sport</em>, award-winning sportswriter Simon Barnes gives you his grandstand seat for a journey from the Olympic Games in Athens to the World Cup in Germany – via the Ashes series, the Ryder Cup, Wimbledon, and more.</a><a href=""><img  src="" border="0" 		width="160px" 	height="244px" alt="" /></a><a href=""><strong>A Book of Heroes</strong><br />Or a Sporting Half-Century</a><br /><a href="" class="plain-link">In this gripping new book, Simon Barnes brings together his 50 sporting heroes of the last 50 years and looks at what it is that elevates them to a state of grace and greatness. </a><a href=""><img  src="" border="0" 		width="160px" 	height="244px" alt="" /></a><a href=""><strong>Birdwatching With Your Eyes Closed</strong><br />An Introduction to Birdsong</a><br /><a href="" class="plain-link">This vital book – with a free podcast – takes you from winter into spring. You start with robin, and end up with nightingales.</a><a href=""><img  src="" border="0" 		width="160px" 	height="244px" alt="" /></a><a href=""><strong>The Horsey Life</strong><br />A Journey of Discovery with a Rather Remarkable Mare</a><br /><a href="" class="plain-link"><em>The Horsey Life</em> is about a friendship pushed to its limits; but it is also filled with larks and joy – a book which takes you right to the heart of the world of horses and those that love them.</a><a href=""><img  src="" border="0" 		width="160px" 	height="244px" alt="" /></a><a href=""><strong>How to be a Bad Birdwatcher</strong><br />To the Greater Glory of Life</a><br /><a href="" class="plain-link"><em>How to be a Bad Birdwatcher</em> shows why birdwatching is not the preserve of twitchers, but one of the simplest, cheapest and most rewarding pastimes around.</a><a href=""><img  src="" border="0" 		width="160px" 	height="244px" alt="" /></a>