David Lea

Deputy Manager

David was one of the founding team at the London Review Bookshop. In fact, he’s the only one of the founding team left, which in a crime novel would mean something significant. As deputy manager and resident birdwatcher of the Bookshop, he helps us sort our sandpipers from our turnstones, and he’s not bad at moths either.

Ask David about: everything, but particularly natural history, politics and economics, history, philosophy, crime, poetry.

Recommendations by David

Six Books About Walking

Here's our selection of books that consider walking, that take us on walks, or that generally amble around the subject.

Posts by David

Silent Night?

The Bat

The bat is dun with wrinkled Wings –

Like fallow Article –

And not a song pervades his Lips –

Or none perceptible.

His small Umbrella, quaintly halved

Describing in the Air

An Arc alike ...

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A Journey Around My Garden

In 1790, while serving in the Piedmontese army, the French aristocrat Xavier de Maistre was arrested for duelling and sentenced to 42 days imprisonment in his own lodgings. The result was the singular little masterpiece ...

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A Naturalist's Bookshelf

As a book-loving naturalist, I find it hard to leave the house without, in addition to hand lens, binoculars and field microscope, at least half a dozen well-thumbed field guides. They'll vary a bit depending on where ...

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Night Creatures

I'm tempted to describe moths as the Cinderellas of the natural world, although unlike Cinderella they mainly come out at night. Often neglected, or dismissed as pests, they have always been somewhat in the shadow of ...

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Some Raptors

The great Scottish naturalist Seton Gordon took his first photograph of a golden eagle eyrie, astonishingly, in April 1904, when he would have been 18 years old. He describes the incident in his 1955 book The Golden ...

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London, This Alien City

It seems both odd and entirely apt that when I think of London poems the two lines that spring most readily to mind are the Scotsman William Dunbar's 'London thou art the flower of cities all' and the Lakelander William ...

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The Moths of London

The first visitor to my small and scruffy garden this year was a Hebrew Character, swiftly followed by Silver Y, Common Footman, Heart and Dart and the Engrailed. For someone like me who enjoys language as much as ...

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I Am an Island

I grew up on the North Sea coast of Yorkshire, and the particular coastal landscape, where cliffs give way to dunes and sand and shingle, and then to the supreme wilderness of the ocean, has always had for me a ...

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Birds and Books

I've been watching birds for as long as I've been reading, which is to say, for as near to half a century as makes no difference. Early forays were to our local RSPB reserve, to be confounded by winter plumage waders. ...

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'The World Turned Upside Down'

When I was a student leftie in the 1980s, and a very poor guitarist, Leon Rosselson was one of my great heroes, and his Big Red Songbook one of my most treasured possessions. You can imagine how excited I was, then, when ...

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A Chinese Taxonomy According to Borges

Irrelevantly, I was unable to sleep last night before I'd reminded myself of Borges's faux Chinese taxonomy:

(a) Those that belong to the emperor; (b) embalmed ones; (c) those that are trained; (d) suckling pigs; (e) ...

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Un pour tous, tous pour un!

Dumas' published works, according to Wiki, amount to a colossal 100,000 pages, although how many of them he actually wrote, and how many should be ascribed to his collaborator Auguste Maquet, remains a vexed issue. As if ...

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What's in a Name?

I know there's no copyright in book titles, but I was nonetheless surprised by the appearance in Penguin's spring list of two books that draw on the same line from Marx for their titles – 'All that is solid melts into ...

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Micro-moths, and other marvellous small things

What would you save from a house fire? For me, once I'd got the children out, the thing I'd be most likely to dive back into the flames to rescue would be my collection of field guides. Mostly, they're known simply by ...

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A Decade of Bestsellers: Untold Stories

It seems entirely fitting that our bestselling book in 2005 should have been Alan Bennett’s Untold Stories. Many of the pieces collected in it first appeared, in one form or another, in the pages of the London Review ...

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