Rowley Public Library

The feather thief, beauty, obsession, and the natural history heist of the century, Kirk Wallace Johnson - paperback

Summary
"On a cool June evening in 2009, after performing a concert at London'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. Two years later, Kirk Wallace Johnson was waist high in a river in northern New Mexico when his fly-fishing guide told him about the heist. He was soon consumed by the strange case of the feather thief. 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. The 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."--Page [2] of cover
Table Of Contents
Prologue -- Dead birds and rich men. The trials of Alfred Russel Wallace ; Lord Rothschild's museum ; The feather fever ; Birth of a movement ; The Victorian Brotherhood of Fly-tiers ; The future of fly-tying -- The Tring heist. Featherless in London ; Plan for Museum Invasion.Doc ; The case of the broken window ; "A very unusual crime" ; Hot birds on a cold trail ; Fluteplayer 1988 ; Behind bars ; Rot in hell ; The diagnosis ; The Asperger's defense ; The missing skins -- Truth and consequences. The 21st International Fly Tying Symposium ; The lost memory of the ocean ; Chasing leads in a time machine ; Dr. Prum's thumb drive ; "I'm not a thief" ; Three days in Norway ; Michelangelo vanishes ; Flowers in the bloodstream
Language
eng
Literary Form
non fiction
Physical Description
x, 308 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates, illustrations (some color), 24 cm
Isbn
9781101981634

Library Locations

  • Rowley Public Library

    141 Main Street, Rowley, MA, 01969, US
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