Queen's Quarterly

Queen's Quarterly
Queen's Quarterly

Helen Humphreys


Winter 2019 - Humphreys

Natural History

Author Helen Humphreys presents a series of vignettes inspired by the world of plants and animals around us. Each story is a mix of fact and fiction and centres on one element of the natural world, exploring the ways in which that creature or plant has been utilized by human society. These are cautionary tales about the ways in which we have idealized and exploited nature in the past and how, as we go forward, it is time to rethink our relationship to the natural world.

This piece first appeared in Queen’s Quarterly 119/1 (Spring 2012).


Helen Humphreys is the award-winning author of eight novels, four books of poetry, and four works of creative non-fiction. Her latest book is the novel Machine Without Horses. She lives and writes in Kingston, Ontario.