The story of Eileen Soper's strange, reclusive life was told by Duff Hart-Davis in the recent best-seller 'Wildings'. The younger daughter of a successful artist, George Soper, she lived for 80 years in the same Hertfordshire house, working incessantly at etching and commercial book illustration, and achieving considerable succes.
Following George Soper's death, Eileen became more and more absorbed in natural history. In the early 1950s she discovered the great passion of her life - badgers. For months at a time she ventured out each night to observe and draw the badger colony at a sett near her home, soon becoming accepted by the residents who eventually fed from her hand. In the 1950s she published several books about her observations, illustrated with lively pencil drawings; it was not until after her death years later that hundreds of superb colour paintings of the badgers were discovered in her studio. Some of the best of these are reproduced here, illustrating Eileen's descriptive text, edited by Duff Hart-Davis. The result is an absorbing and beautiful book for all nature-lovers.