The Book of Eels: Their Lives, Secrets and Myths

By Tom Fort

What has been the dish of kings, the subject of myths and the traveller of epic and mysterious journeys? The eel.

Beginning life in the Sargasso Sea, the eel travels across the ocean, lives for twenty or so years, and then is driven by some instinct back across the ocean to spawn and die. And the next generation starts the story again. No one knows why the eels return, or how the orphaned elvers learn their way back. One man discovered, after many adventures, the breeding ground of all eels – and he is the hero of this book.

Eels were being caught and consumed 5000 years before the birth of Christ – Aristotle and Pliny wrote about them; Romans regarded them as a peerless delicacy; Egyptians accorded them semi-sacred status; English kings died of overeating them. There are many strange practices among eel fishers all over the world, and many great fortunes based upon the eel harvest.

The Book of Eels, a combination of social comment, biography and natural history, is also a fascinating and witty account of Tom Fort’s obsession with the eel, his journeying to discover the eel in all its habitats, and the people he meets in his pursuit.

Author: Tom Fort
Format: ebook
Release Date: 23 Jul 2020
Pages: None
ISBN: 978-0-00-739469-2
Tom Fort, a former editor at the BBC, is the fishing correspondent for the Financial Times. He lives in Berkshire with his wife and children.

‘This is a captivating study…Tom Fort is incapable of writing a dull sentence.' Financial Times -

”'A fascinating, beautifully written and deeply peculiar book.” - New Scientist

”'In this wonderful book, Tom Fort elevates Anguilla anguilla from the lowly to the exalted…The Book of Eels is a delightful surprise; Fort does wonders with his esoteric and fascinating subject.” - The Times

”'What a joy, a whole book on eels. It’s a very good book too, and a very English book…I suppose it is inevitable that somone will call this book 'enchanting’. Take no notice. Buy it anyway. Give it to someone you like or, for even more fun, to someone you don’t.” - Spectator

”'Tom Fort is the Alan Bennett of the angling scene.” - Literary Review