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

Category: Book
By (author): Skaife, Christopher
Subject:  BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Personal Memoirs
  HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain
  NATURE / Animals / Birds
  NON-FICTION / General
Audience: general/trade
Publisher: HarperCollins
Published: October 2018
Format: Book-hardcover
Pages: 256
Size: 8.50in x 5.50in
Our Price:
$ 29.99
Available to order

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*

The first behind-the-scenes account of life with the legendary ravens at the world's eeriest monument

The ravens at the Tower of London are of mighty importance: rumor has it that if a raven from the Tower should ever leave, the city will fall.

The title of Ravenmaster, therefore, is a serious title indeed, and after decades of serving the Queen, Yeoman Warder Christopher Skaife took on the added responsibility of caring for the infamous ravens. In The Ravenmaster, he lets us in on his life as he feeds his birds raw meat and biscuits soaked in blood, buys their food at Smithfield Market, and ensures that these unusual, misunderstood, and utterly brilliant corvids are healthy, happy, and ready to captivate the four million tourists who flock to the Tower every year.

A rewarding, intimate, and inspiring partnership has developed between the ravens and their charismatic and charming human, the Ravenmaster, who shares the folklore, history, and superstitions surrounding the ravens and the Tower. Shining a light on the behavior of the birds, their pecking order and social structure, and the tricks they play on us, Skaife shows who the Tower's true guardians really are―and the result is a compelling and irreverent narrative that will surprise and enchant.

Review Quote*"This is a charmer! Life with the legendary ravens at the Tower of London! Chock full of wild things you didn't know."
Review Quote*"What a terrific book. . . I learned so much about ravens, and even things I didn't know about the Tower. It's like spending a long evening with a bottle of whisky as a wise Ravenmaster tells you everything you need to know."
Review Quote*"[Skaife is] a born storyteller with a gift for banter . . . . beguiling, fascinating, and highly amusing."
Review Quote*"Lively and cheeky. . . . Balancing fascinating tidbits with macabre details, [Skaife] titillates as he educates, rehabilitating the gloomy reputation of the raven. Skaife's conversational style and disarming candor make this a rollicking tale fit for nearly any armchair adventurer."
Review Quote*"A riveting read . . . witty and bewitching."
Review Quote*"A delightful read from a masterful-and very funny-storyteller. [The ravens are] much like us: brave, silly, ruthless, charming, unpredictable, brilliant, lovable, and complex."
Review Quote*"Christopher Skaife adores his birds with every fiber of his being. His knowledge and love of the ravens fly off the page in The Ravenmaster."
Review Quote*"Christopher Skaife is both a ravenmaster and a master storyteller. Compulsively readable-I devoured the book in a single sitting!"
Review Quote*"Christopher Skaife's tales contain not only comedy but also tragedy, frustration, love, hubris, fear, foolishness, compassion, and uncertainty. Keeping the ravens requires constant negotiation with them, in which, as Skaife repeatedly observes, we learn not only about corvids but also our own role as human beings."