Main content
Sorry, this episode is not currently available

Episode 1

Episode 1 of 5

Author Miriam Darlington introduces us to a world of owls. Today we meet Murray, the teaching owl.

The Chauvet Caves of southern France have the oldest known depiction of an owl in the world. Fascinatingly, this closely observed bird is drawn from behind, but with its head swivelled backwards 180 degrees, to meet the gaze of people walking towards it. The drawing dates back 36,000 years and we have been captivated by owls at least that long. We have fixated on this night hunter as predator, messenger, emblem of wisdom, something pretty to print on a tote bag or portent of doom.

Author Miriam Darlington sets out to tell a new story about owls. In her watching and deep listening to the natural world, she cleaves myth from reality to change the way we think about this magnificent creature.

In Episode 1, we meet Murray the teaching owl.

Miriam Darlington was born and brought up in Lewes, Sussex. In 2008 she published a collection of poetry, Windfall, and the same year completed a book for young children, Footprints in the Sand, an ecological tale about rivers. In 2009 she gained funding to complete a book on otters in conjunction with a PhD at Exeter University and the book Otter Country was published in 2012. The Guardian, in its hugely positive review of the book, stated that "Darlington has earned her place alongside [Gavin] Maxwell and [Henry] Williamson."

Writer: Miriam Darlington
Abridger: Pete Nichols
Reader: Teresa Gallagher
Producer: Karen Rose

A Sweet Talk production for BBC Radio 4.

15 minutes

Last on

Tue 13 Feb 2018 00:30

More episodes


You are at the first episode

See all episodes from Book of the Week


Role Contributor
Reader Teresa Gallagher
Author Miriam Darlington
Abridger Pete Nichols
Producer Karen Rose


Audio Books

Audio Books

Exceptional books and readings.

Short stories to keep

Short stories to keep

The fiction podcast featuring the best stories from the UK's finest writers

Sample our books and authors Clip Collection

Sample our books and authors Clip Collection

Interviews, previews and reviews

Books website

Books website

Get closer to books with in-depth articles and radio & TV highlights.