William Horwood's short novel Callanish is about a golden eagle in London Zoo and his struggles with captivity and freedom. It was Horwood's second novel about eagles, after the extraordinarily good The Stonor Eagles.

On the face of it, this book could be seen as simply a way to draw sympathy for animals kept in zoos and their plight of captivity away from their homelands. But, like many animal stories, it feels like there should be an allegorical reading of the story in terms of humans. The character of Wolski provides one obvious parallel between the situation of zoo animals and that of some particularly unfortunate humans, but is there anything less extreme? Could there be a less direct interpretation in terms of some other type of freedom, such as freedom of the mind?


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