Pasta for Nightingales: A 17th-Century Handbook of Bird-Care and Folklore, by Giovanni Pietro Olina & Cassiano dal Pozzo
The first-ever English translation of a seventeenth-century ornithology text, complete with historic watercolour illustrations
The watercolours, created for the ‘Paper Museum’ of the seventeenth-century scholar and art collector Cassiano dal Pozzo, are here combined with the translated text of amateur naturalist Pietro Olina’s original Uccelliera of 1622 to create a new work that provides a fascinating glimpse of ornithology’s earliest days - a period when folklore informed natural history studies as much as science did.
With meditations on the ‘epileptic’ robin redbreast and a recipe for chickpea pasta meant to satisfy a nightingale and keep it in song, this work is an enchanting re-presentation of natural history literature. Retaining the character of Olina’s original design, this unique book describes over forty much-loved species, and is sure to please bird watchers, naturalists, and antiquarian book lovers alike.
“[A] handsome volume [and] the season’s most endearingly eccentric offering.” - New York Times Book Review
“A charming Renaissance collection of birdlore and beauty.” - Weekly Standard