A wide-ranging meditation on belonging and citizenship through the story of two squirrel species in Britain.
Squirrel Nation is a history of Britain’s two species of squirrel over the past two hundred years: the much-loved, though rare, red squirrel and the less-desirable, though more populous, grey squirrel. A common resident of British gardens and parks, the grey squirrel was introduced from North America in the late nineteenth century and remains something of a foreign interloper. By examining this species’ rapid spread across Britain, Peter Coates explores timely issues of belonging, nationalism, and citizenship in Britain today. Ultimately, though people are swift to draw distinctions between British squirrels and squirrels in Britain, Squirrel Nation shows that Britain’s two squirrel species have much more in common than at first appears.