Issue April – June 2015
I miss bookstores. Not mall bookstores with 50 shades of the same thing, but independent bookstores that still carry obscure titles for people who don’t read just in airplanes, like Shakespeare and the Hunt for African Animals in Renaissance Literature and Art. How else would I have discovered The Eponym Dictionary of Mammals? I’d probably already graduated from college before learning that the much tossed around “eponymous” simply means naming something after somebody. As in the Roosevelt sable being named after Teddy. So this is a dictionary of the people after whom mammals are named, for example, the Mr. Grant and Mr. Thomson behind their eponymous gazelles. This 574-page reference book turned out to be a page-turner as I looked up every species with a family name I could think of. The history is so rich in semi-tragic characters that one is relieved they are immortalized – at least to us hunters.