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The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century

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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. If you're a fan of these fascinating works of non-fiction, then grab hold of this story of the feather thief before he gets away with it. This why-dunnit thriller is a must-read and will make an absolute must-watch,” said Beatrice Springborn, President, Universal International Studios. 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.

Edwin Rist, amerikietis vaikinukas studijuojantis muziką Londone, 2009-iais įsilaužia į Londono Gamtos istorijos muziejaus padalinį Tring miestelyje ir pavagia 300 retų paukščių odelių. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA Enterprise and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.Our obsession to preserve and obtain beautiful things over the last several hundred years, including for clothing, fly-ties, and private and museum collections, has destroyed entire ecosystems and resulted in many species going extinct. When he's not behind his laptop typing, you can probably find him chasing wild trout in his home state of Pennsylvania, or wading somewhere in the tropics! In this era, when we are sickened to see Donald Trump’s son Eric flaunt photos of his kill in Africa, and have a stronger sense of conservation, the concerns regarding extinction and the value in maintaining historical scientific data, The Feather Thief provides even greater context regarding what the unimpeded slaughter of birds and animals by the wealthy, as an industry, has sorrowfully cast upon the world. These feathers come from some of the rarest birds in the world, such as the Resplendent Quetzal, the King Bird of Paradise, the Flame Bowerbird, and the Blue Chatterer. The book is in three parts: the first gives historical context about specimen collection and the early feather trade; the second is a blow-by-blow of Rist’s crime and the aftermath, including the trial; and the third goes into Wallace’s own investigation process.

Have upgraded my rating to 5 stars this February 2021 because I find myself recommending this book to everyone.I should also note the amateur detective work (unknown to Johnson, so far as I can tell) performed by Katrina van Grouw (best known for her books The Unfeathered Bird of 2013 and 2018’s Unnatural Selection, but based at Tring when the theft occurred) also uncovered online proof of the illegal sale of the specimens.

The Feather Thief was the first audiobook I downloaded to my phone from my public library's OverDrive service.It then explores how these discoveries lead bird feathers to be used brutally in fashion and hobbies like fly-tying. 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. In 2009, the flutist Edwin Rist burgled the Natural History Museum at Tring, and stole 399 bird skins.

The problem becomes thornier when it comes to the matter of free trade; as the authors observe, “left-behind people live in left-behind places,” which explains why regional poverty descended on Appalachia when so many manufacturing jobs left for China in the age of globalism, leaving behind not just left-behind people but also people ripe for exploitation by nationalist politicians. But in Britain, streams and rivers became inaccessible to any but the very rich, who owned the rights to the estates. That book is Kirk Wallace Johnson’s The Feather Thief, published in 2018 (as usual, apologies for my tardiness. We celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stories, traditions and living cultures; and we pay our respects to Elders past and present.There, he heard about Edwin Rist, a young flautist who had plundered one of the most revered collections of preserved birds, over a hundred years old - to tear apart to sell for the purpose of making fishing flies. The Feather Thief tells the true-crime tale of Edwin Rist robbing the British Museum of Natural History of hundreds of irreplaceable bird skins, and the greed, obsession, and twisted logic that had compelled him to do so. Even though I was often bored for the first half, I ended up being compelled by what turned out to be a less obvious crime than I'd initially assumed.

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