Hunt for the Shadow Wolf: The lost history of wolves in Britain and the myths and stories that surround them


By Derek Gow (Author)
Format: Hardback 256 pages, Black and white chapter opener illustrations
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing Co
ISBN: 9781645020424
Published: 7 Mar 2024
Weight: 402g
Dimensions: 138 x 216 x 26 (mm)

Author of Bringing Back the Beaver and Britain’s favourite maverick rewilder Derek Gow embarks on an adventure to uncover the mythology, mystery and history of wolves in Britain. Derek Gow’s dream is that one day we will see the return of the wolf to Britain. Wolf rewilding projects have been successfully implemented across the world – so what is holding us back in the UK? Hunt for the Shadow Wolf is Derek’s quest to uncover the true nature of this magnificent creature.

As Derek worked to reintroduce the beaver, he began to hear stories of the wolf, both real and mythical, and his fascination with it grew. He pieced together fragments of information, stories and artefacts to reveal a shadowy creature that first walked proud through these lands and then was hunted to extinction. What Derek came to realise was that the underlying motives behind our hatred were actually rooted in power and profit.

We turned the wolf into a savage beast and saw its extirpation as a civilising mission. But the wolf endured and Derek tells of his sightings through folklore and mythology, the records of grand estates and parish churches as well as wolf heads, both real and recreated. With bitingly funny but also tender stories, Hunt for the Shadow Wolf makes clear why we must reconcile our relationship with this majestic animal before we can begin to bring it back to these lands.

‘Gow has a fire in his belly. We need more like him.’ BBC Wildlife Magazine

‘Beautifully crafted, fascinating and unbearably poignant, I totally loved this book.' Isabella Tree, author of Wilding

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