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Amazing Rare Things

The Art of Natural History in the Age of Discovery

20 October 2009

Martin Clayton (Author), Susan Owens (Author), Rea Alexandratos (Author)

With an Introduction by David Attenborough


Amazing Rare Things is enthralling, with elegant natural history drawings from the British Royal Collection married to beautiful prose.

The Royal Collection, held at Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace, and Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh, has been shaped by the personal tastes of kings and queens for more than five hundred years. The Collection’s exquisite natural history artworks in Amazing Rare Things is supplemented by an introduction and commentary from Sir David Attenborough. This exploration of the natural world from the late fifteenth century to the early eighteenth century represents a period when European knowledge of the world was transformed by voyages of discovery to the farthest reaches of Africa, Asia, America, and beyond. Included are works by Leonardo da Vinci and other foremost artists and collectors of their time who embraced the natural riches of their ever-expanding world and whose legacies help us better understand today our continuing relationship with the natural world.


"Starred Review. A true feast . . . marvelous . . . passionate . . . widely accessible." — Publishers Weekly

"A book to savor . . . sumptuous . . . transcendent." — Washington Post



198 x 246 mm • 224 pages


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