- Henry Williamson
- ARRSE Rating
- 4 Mushroom Heads
Some will know Henry Williamson as the author of "Tarka the Otter" (which I have not read), and will likely have visited North Devon where the story is set. "Salar" was a follow-up to "Tarka" written a couple of years later in 1935.
For anyone interested in the wildlife of Great Britain, particularly our coasts and waterways, I cannot recommend this highly enough. Of course Williamson was very much "of his time" and wrote in somewhat flowery, poetic language. For me, this works, as the biological/zoological information is spot on.
"Salar" describes the life cycle of a salmon, the trials and tribulations of migrating to the open ocean and returning to the river of his birth. It is also a chronicle of human life around the rivers and estuaries of Salar's habitat.
For me, it is a wonderful book to dip into, and lose oneself in the minutiae of nature - Williamson had a gift for making natural events seem magical.
*The first review I wrote over 40 years ago after picking the book out of the Middle School Library. My English teacher was somewhat dismissive and commented that she thought the book was "too young" for me. I can only assume she had never read it. Sorry, Mrs Crookes, I learned a lot from you, but on this occasion you were wrong.