endpaper martens

seton endpapersThe goldenrod endpapers of Wild Animals at Home by Ernest Thompson Seton. 1913.  Via tumblr

Seton was an extremely popular and successful wildlife artist and woodcraft writer in his day, and one of the founders of the Boy Scout movement.  He is out of favor today, primarily due to his connection with what is now seen as cultural appropriation.  But he could really, really draw.  Roger Tory Peterson, the great ornithologist and bird painter was said to have been inspired to create his field guides by a little 1903 drawing of Seton’s identifying different kinds of river ducks.River_ducks_Seton

Regardless of Seton’s dubious legacy, I would still buy this book for its wonderful endpapers of what I am pretty sure are martens of some kind.  Martens are large arboreal weasels who hunt birds and squirrels in the branches of trees; they are intelligent, shy and beautiful, and obviously pretty awesome to draw.  And a marten would be a great animal form for a shape changing character like a were or a skinwalker.  You could go anywhere, and you’d pack a wallop for something your size.

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