Oliver G Pike

Books: The Nightingale

The nightingale was a favourite bird of Oliver Pike. There is only one book that he wrote that has a single bird as its title, although it contains chapters on many other birds.

The nightingale is, of course, famous for its song, although few people in Britain nowadays will have heard it. It is much scarcer now than it was when this book was written.

            Nightingale Cover

The Nightingale

This was first published in October 1932. The dust-jacket shows a photograph of a nightingale with food for its young.

The dust-jacket photo was probably taken in Oxfordshire where Oliver Pike had recently made made a film about the nightingale.

The first chapter describes how he has heard the nightingale's song at its best when it is competing against other noises. The first example given is during a storm, not far from London. The second example is of a bird on the Western front in the First World War, heard by the soldiers and airmen, and blown up by a shell.