Naturalist Ernest Harold Baynes: Background information when reading Unlikely Animals

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Unlikely Animals

A Novel

by Annie Hartnett

Unlikely Animals by Annie Hartnett X
Unlikely Animals by Annie Hartnett
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  • Published:
    Apr 2022, 368 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Erin Lyndal Martin
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About this Book

Naturalist Ernest Harold Baynes

This article relates to Unlikely Animals

Ernest Harold Baynes wearing a suit and drinking from a teacup which has a bird resting on the rimIn Unlikely Animals, Clive Starling pals around with a hallucination of Ernest Harold Baynes, a real-life figure sometimes called the American Dr. Dolittle. Through his deep reverence for animals, Baynes helped save bison in America, educated the public about songbirds and befriended all manner of creatures.

Born in Calcutta in 1868 to British parents, Baynes moved to New York City at age 11. He excelled in school and athletics, but he found himself indecisive during college. He toyed with the idea of a legal career, and for a time worked with his father, an inventor and amateur photographer. Typhoid prevented Baynes from being drafted into the Spanish American War, so he spent that time learning and writing for the New York Times.

In 1901, Baynes married and settled down in Stoneham, Massachusetts, where he took to feeding injured and orphaned animals. In 1905, he published an article in Bird-Lore magazine about how to organize care and feeding for wildlife during harsh winters. ...

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