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

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

A rollicking true-crime adventure and a thought-provoking exploration of the human drive to possess natural beauty for readers of The Stranger in the Woods, The Lost City of Z, and The Orchid Thief.

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.

Titulo:The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century
Idioma de edición:English
ISBN:null
Tipo de formato:



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Acerca de Kirk Wallace Johnson

Kirk W. Johnson is the founder of the List Project to Resettle Iraqi Allies, and the author of To Be a Friend is Fatal: the Fight to Save the Iraqis America Left Behind.


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

  • Julie

    The Feather Thief by Kirk Wallace Johnson is a 2019 Penguin publication. This is another book that has sat on my TBR list for an entire year. I added it because it was labeled as true crime and becaus...

  • J.L.   Sutton

    Described as the pursuit of justice in the feather underground, Kirk Wallace Johnson's The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century delivers. Picking this book up...

  • Carol

    An online forum recently posted a list of true crime without murder or violence. The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century would fit the bill as no murder nor ...

  • Rebecca

    The Feather Thief is a delightful read that successfully combines many genres – biography, true crime, ornithology, history, travel and memoir – to tell the story of an audacious heist of rare bir...

  • Matthew Quann

    Deciding to read The Feather Thief should really come down to how much you want to know about birds. Birds are animals I'm perfectly willing to appreciate at a distance but, barring a series of childh...

  • J.K. Grice

    FLY: "A fishhook dressed (as with feathers or tinsel) to suggest an insect."While not a fly fisherman, I myself am an avid fisherman. The author Kirk Johnson was fly fishing with a friend several year...

  • Alice Lippart

    Haven't read something so engrossing all year. What a fascinating and exciting book!...

  • Leslie Ray

    What an adventure centered around the dedication of the author to try to rectify a theft from the Natural History Museum in Tring (England). The thief had an obsession with obtaining rare bird feather...

  • KC

    This is the truly amazing story of how a twenty year old American flute prodigy pulled off an unbelievable museum heist of rare and exotic bird skins and feathers. Edwin Risk loved music but also was ...

  • LeAnne: GeezerMom

    Seabiscuit. The River of Doubt. The Devil and the White City. Into the Wild. The Perfect Storm. If you're a fan of these fascinating works of non-fiction, then grab hold of this story of the feather t...

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