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The Peregrine


J A Baker

J. A. Baker’s extraordinary classic of British nature writing was first published in 1967. Between 1954 and 1964, Baker an unassuming office worker from mid-Essex spent all his spare time observing and recording the magnificent peregrine falcons that became his passion and obsession. He followed them on  on foot and on his bicycle recording each day their behaviour and his observations of the changing landscape in notebooks that that ran to over 1,600 pages which he eventually edited to describe one calendar year of peregrine activity.

Despite the association of peregrines with the wild, outer reaches of the British Isles, The Peregrine is set on the flat marshes of the Essex coast, where J. A. Baker spent long winters observing and writing about the visitors from the uplands – peregrines that spend the winter hunting the huge flocks of pigeons and waders that share the desolate landscape with them.

Many writers including, Ted Hughes, Robert Macfarlane and Andrew Motion have hailed it as one of the most important books in twentieth-century nature writing.

This new edition of the timeless classic, published to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its first publication, features an afterword by one of the book’s greatest admirers, Robert Macfarlane.

HarperCollins paperback, £12.99