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Once Upon a Raven's Nest

Catrina Davies

'This is a rich, beautiful and deeply moving book' GEORGE MONBIOT


'I loved this book' CLOVER STROUD



Once Upon a Raven's Nest is the story of a working class man, one Thomas Hedley of Exmoor, and of the planet during the period of its great acceleration towards the current climate emergency.

Born in 1955 to a poor family in Devon Thomas refused to conform. His fierce independence, recklessness and contrariness led not only to scrapes and self-inflicted dangers but to a life enriched by the love of women. Catrina Davies came to know him in his last years and has given his life and times in his own words, creating a rich, pungent language in a knowing, poetic and poignant voice.

We learn of his accumulation of engines, tools and guns, the complexity of his connection to nature, the animals he loved and his desire to hunt them. He recounts the terrible consequences of his fatal attraction to risk and machinery which led to his being paralysed for the last years of his life, confined to a wheelchair, hopelessly dependent but still watching, noticing, recording, loving the world.

The narrative is interwoven with a sequence of factual entries that chart the impending climate catastrophe and the consequences of our collective choices to ignore the warning of an environment on the verge of collapse.

Once Upon A Raven's Nest is an unforgettable history of a life that is almost lost and an account of the destruction man has wrought on the earth in the time that Hedley worked the land.

'Stunning. Urgent. Unforgettable' TANYA SHADRICK


'This has the unmistakable smell of a classic' CHARLES FOSTER

  • Classification : BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
  • Pub Date : APR 11, 2024
  • Imprint : Riverrun
  • Page Extent : 400
  • Binding : PB
  • ISBN : 9781529425024
  • Price : INR 1,050
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Catrina Davies

Catrina Davies was born in Snowdonia and grew up around Land's End, Cornwall. She has worked as a DJ, gardener, circus cellist, cleaner, TEFL teacher, dog walker, flower-picker, builder and waitress. She has also released two records. Her first book Fearless is a memoir about busking from Norway to Portugal. riverrun published Homesick in 2019 and it went on to be longlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize, Once Upon a Raven's Nest is her third book.

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