The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century by Kirk W. Johnson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This was an enjoyable "slow read" for me, as it touched on so many areas I find myself interested in these days. Of course, there is the bird angle - as a lover of all things avian, it is disturbing but necessary to understand the history of the slaughter of so many beautiful birds resulting from the demand based on frivolous human wishes, whether it be collecting or millinery. The fact that in this day the demand for exotic bird feathers exists, from of all places fishing-fly enthusiasts, provides the backdrop for this enthralling true-life crime tale. The author takes us back to help us understand the competitive battle between Wallace and Darwin, back in the mid-1800s. These are just a few of the interesting subjects covered by Kirk Johnson in The Feather Thief. One of the book's blurbs suggested parallels with The Orchid Thief, a book I also loved, but I wouldn't look for too many similarities, as this book stands on its own unique elements.
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