The Life of The Robin


The Life of the Robin, by leading ornithologist David Lack – reissued by Pallas Athene Publishers on 9th June, with 21 illustrations by Peter Gillmor – was first published in 1943 and quickly became a leading text in scientific circles and beyond

The book was ground-breaking not only in its findings, but also in the author’s style and approach – anecdotal and witty with many quotes; gems from literature, poetry, folk culture, and history. Hence its popularity among bird lovers and scientists alike.

Despite being one of the greatest ornithologists of the 20th Century (the Royal Society awarded him the prestigious Darwin Medal for his life-work) Lack carried out all his research on robins in his spare time while a teacher at Dartington Hall School – today this would be impossible with teachers’ hectic schedules! One of the reasons why David Lack started his experiments was to keep his boarding pupils entertained; not so easy to amuse a bunch of teenagers!

The Life of the Robin not only reveals the robin’s vicious personality but also the personality of the author albeit in a much more favourable light: unassuming despite his professional successes, always conscious of his limits and recognising the debts he owed to fellow ornithologists.

Available from: Hardcover £20.49 - Paperback £9.99