The Natural and Unnatural Histories of the Chicken

I liked Chickens: Their Natural and Unnatural Histories by Janet Lembke even if it is annoyingly unscholarly in places where it should be (assertions of fact are frequently made with zero or poor referencing). As far as I can tell, the writing is accurate in its coverage of all things Chicken. Chickens in science, chickens in stories, chickens in the back yard, chickens in history, chickens in evolution, chickens in art, chickens in mythology, chickens in medicine, chickens in Medieval times, chickens in Renaissance times, chickens all the way down.

If you are a chicken person you should have this book. If you are The Chickenman, you should be happy with some roadkillicon.

This is not a manual for how to own and operate a chicken, but if you do happen to own and operate chickens you'll find the literature and tradition exposed here enriching.

Lembke is a skillful writer and has quite a few books of non fiction, as well as translations of classic literature, behind her. I was hoping she would some day soon write a book about swine. The modern-classic overlap, interesting origin stories, and role in many areas of art and life of chicken is paralleled by, perhaps eclipsed by, the not very humble pig. Just sayin'

Finally, in case you were wondering about the origin of the chicken, click here.

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