An Abject Reptile

A friend loaned this book to me. The title Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile got my attention so I started reading it right away. Only 180 pages, it was a quick read. Author Verlyn Klinkenborg used notes from Gilbert White in the 18th century. White constantly observed nature and recorded details in notebooks. He searched for keys to behavior and connections to the spiritual world of his profession as a pastor. The term physico-theology was used to describe him. Gilbert White’s notes described the people, their lives, nature, and their connections in the small town of Selborne England.

Timothy was a tortoise owned by White. He lived in the garden for a long time. Originally from the middle east, Timothy was not accustomed to the climate of England. But, Timothy was an astute observer of White and the other humans. Verlyn Klinenborg wrote this book from the viewpoint of Timothy using White’s notes about the town and its citizens.

I found it perceptive and captivating. If you are an observer of the natural world, I think you would enjoy this book.


5 thoughts on “An Abject Reptile

  1. shoreacres

    Some years ago, I knew a British blogger who had a tortoise who lived in his garden in summer. Each year, spring and fall, the blogger would do what was necessary to prepare the creature to go into or come out of hibernation. (The tortoise lived in his office in the winter.) Your review reminded me of that curious pair, and makes me think I’d enjoy this book. I’m going to see if I can get it through our library.


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