Item Details

The Ravenmaster: My Life With the Ravens at the Tower of London

Christopher Skaife, Yeoman Warder of Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, the Tower of London
Format
Book
Published
New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2018.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
ISBN
9780374113346, 0374113343
Summary
"A narrative by the Tower of London's official Ravenmaster about what it's like to live among the ravens at England's most famous national monument, woven together with insight from folklore, history, and contemporary behavioral science about this unusual bird"--
"For centuries, the Tower of London has been home to a group of famous avian residents: the ravens. Each year they are seen by millions of visitors, and they have become as integral a part of the Tower as its ancient stones. But their role is even more important than that--legend has it that if the ravens should ever leave, the Tower will crumble into dust, and great harm will befall the kingdom. One man is personally responsible for ensuring that such a disaster never comes to pass--the Ravenmaster. The current holder of the position is Yeoman Warder Christopher Skaife, and in this fascinating, entertaining, and touching book he memorably describes the ravens' formidable intelligence, their idiosyncrasies, and their occasionally wicked sense of humor. Over the years in which he has cared for the physical and mental well-being of these remarkable birds, Christopher Skaife has come to know them like no one else. They are not the easiest of charges--as he reveals, they are much given to mischief, and their escapades have often led him into unlikely, and sometimes even undignified, situations. Now, in the first intimate behind-the-scenes account of life with the ravens of the Tower, the Ravenmaster himself shares the folklore, history, and superstitions surrounding both the birds and their home. [This] is a compelling, inspiring, and irreverent story that will delight and surprise anyone with an interest in British history or animal behavior."--Dust jacket.
Contents
  • Silhouette
  • Ravenmaster
  • The rules
  • Roll call
  • Bird life
  • Tower Green
  • Biscuits and blood
  • The menagerie
  • Black birds
  • The raven spreads his wings
  • The great escape
  • Resistance to interrogation
  • Citizens of the world
  • Double-hatting
  • The story
  • Application
  • Speaking in Ravenish
  • Bird brains
  • Ravenology
  • The legend of the ravens at the Tower
  • Blood swept lands and seas of red
  • My mistress' eyes are raven black
  • Birds and books
  • Death and the raven
  • The ghosts of my life
  • And so to bed
  • Great traditions
  • Sentinels of the White Tor
  • Rising above.
Description
viii, 241 pages, 8 unnumbered leaves of plates : illustrations, maps ; 22 cm
Notes
  • Maps on end caps.
  • Includes bibliographical references.
Technical Details

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