My first book is about a most peculiar and much-loved group of animals: the seahorses. The biography of seahorses, if you like.
It’s a blend of popular science, history, mythology, literature, and archaeology that traces a journey above and beneath the waves in pursuit of these elusive sea creatures.
I wrote it because I wanted to dig into the strange fascination people have with these little animals – after all, seahorses are just fish. I wanted to explain how and why male seahorses get pregnant (and no, that doesn’t make them female. Read the book to find out why).
Poseidon’s Steed was published by Gotham Books (Penguin Group) in 2009 in hardback and in 2010 in paperback.
I’ve appeared on radio programmes around the world talking about seahorses including on the Diane Rehm Show on NPR in the US and Late Night Live on Radio National in Austraila.
A few reviews
‘In this fascinating book Helen Scales, an aptly named marine biologist, explains the myth, biology & ecology of what the Victorians called queer fish’ The Economist
‘Each chapter is a perfect blend of past and present, fact and whimsy’ Globe and Mail
‘A nuanced & thoughtful analysis’ National Geographic
‘Elegant & engaging’ Natural History Magazine
‘This is one charming book about one charming fish’ Booklist
‘Against every expectation, her attentive scientific descriptions show these sea-drifting enigmas to be even more wondrous than we previously thought’ Barnes & Nobel Recommends