Book review: ‘Song Of The Rolling Earth’ by John Lister-Kaye

‘Song of the Rolling Earth’ by John Lister-Kaye

Song Of The Rolling Earth is John Lister-Kaye’s memoir about his acquisition of a decrepit former hunting estate, Aigas, in the Scottish Highlands, and its conversion to a world-renowned field-studies centre.

As well as describing the ins and outs of the field centre, Lister-Kaye reminisces about team members and other locals, and describes much of the history, pre-history and natural history of the surrounding countryside. He also writes knowledgeably about conservation, biodiversity, rewilding and related issues.

The writing is occasionally a bit florid for my taste, and there are a couple of passages in which Lister-Kaye comes across as a bit too ‘spiritual’. There is also an incorrect account of Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace working together on their famous 1858 ‘joint’ paper. Wallace knew nothing about their supposed joint effort until several months after it had been published.

These minor misgivings aside, an enjoyable book.

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