The Kingdon Field Guide to African Mammals is a most precious volume. It is a work of almost heroic proportions, more akin in its scope and feel to the great monographs of the nineteenth century than a modern work. Yet it is also a field guide and works admirably as such. What has won this book pride of place on my bookshelves, however, is the extraordinary fusion it represents between science, natural history, and art. Kingdon's African Mammals is a very special human achievement. It is, I sense, a love letter to a place that has nurtured, instructed and given its author space to grow. In a world of ever-increasing specialization and division of labor, I fear we will not see a similar work again.