The Feather Thief tells the strange but true story of how hundreds of rare bird skins and feathers – many collected during the 19th century – were stolen in 2009 from the Tring Museum, a suburban outpost of the British Museum of Natural History. The thief, 20 year old Edwin Rist, was an accomplished musician who had become involved with the craft of Victorian fly-tying: creating fishing lures that use feathers as their raw materials. Rist had developed a network of buyers for rare and exotic feathers, called ‘The Feather Underground,’ and hoped to make a bundle on the sale of these stolen feathers.
This compelling crime story will teach you more than you ever thought you wanted to know about the underground world of exotic feathers.
Find reviews of The Feather Thief, and interviews with the author below:
- Dotinga, R. (2018, April 13). In “The Feather Thief,” a British bird burglary exposes a hidden world. Christian Science Monitor.
- Kemp, C. (05/04/2018). “Irreplaceable avian specimens, ransacked.“. Science, 360 (6388), p. 500.
- Hammer, J. (06/01/2018). “The Man Who Stole Bird Feathers.”. The New York Times Book Review, p. 53.
- Corrigan, M. (April 30, 2018 Monday). “A Weird-But-True Story Takes Flight In ‘The Feather Thief’.” NPR Fresh Air.
You can find The Feather Thief: beauty, obsession, and the natural history heist of the century by Kirk Wallace Johnson in the Lincoln Park Library Popular Reading Collection.
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