Review – Homo Britannicus

Cover of Homo Britannicus by Chris StringerHomo Britannicus, Chris Stringer

I only had the chance to skim through this, because the library was tired of renewing it for me (not really, they’re excellent to me), but it’s an amazing resource. Limited, of course, in that it examines the development of humans in Britain, which doesn’t allow for taking into account other parts of the story. And indeed, it was written in 2008, so I’m not sure if some of the vital parts of the human story were available then — when were the Denisovan caves discovered and published about? It’s also pretty obviously for the layman (which would normally include me! but I’ve done so much reading on the subject, going over the basics again doesn’t work for me).

It’s a well-presented book, with plenty of photography, illustrations, etc. It links in the story of humans in Britain with the issue of climate change, which is on the one hand understandable — occupation of Britain fluctuated over and over again as Ice Ages came and went, and once hippos lived in the wild in Britain! — and a little disingenuous. Obviously, I’m not looking for a lecture on climate change when I want to read about humans.

(Not to mention: the choir? You’re preaching to it. I’m well aware of the cycles of climate change on Earth, and their potential effects on all species and countries. And to me, it doesn’t matter whether we’re driving climate change or not. We’re using an unsustainable fuel supply to do so, and in many other ways it measurably damages our world. Let’s fix that and then wrangle about whether or not it’s fixed the climate too.)

Rating: 3/5

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