Feather Thief

SKU: 14AB1875
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On a cool June evening in 2009, after performing a concert at Lon- don's Royal Academy of Music, twenty-year-old American flautist Edwin Rist boarded a train for a suburban outpost of the British Museum of Natural History. Home to one of the largest ornithological collections in the world, the Tring museum was full of rare bird specimens whose gorgeous feathers were worth staggering amounts of money to the men who shared Edwin's obsession: the Victorian art of salmon fly-tying. Once inside the museum, the champion fly-tier grabbed hundreds of bird skins—some collected 150 years earlier by a contemporary of Darwin's, Alfred Russel Wallace, who'd risked everything to gather them—and escaped into the darkness.

What would possess a person to steal dead birds? Had Edwin paid the price for his crime? What became of the missing skins? In his search for answers, Johnson was catapulted into a years-long, worldwide investigation. Author Kirk Wallace Johnson book is a gripping story of a bizarre and shocking crime, and one man's relentless pursuit of justice, The Feather Thief is also a fascinating exploration of obsession, and man's destructive instinct to harvest the beauty of nature. Hardcover, 6x9 inches, 320 pgs.
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