The Conjurer's Bird

The Conjurer's Bird

A Novel

Book - 2005
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The Conjurer's Birdis a beautiful story in the spirit ofPossessionthat is as exciting asThe Club Dumas, inspired by one of the great puzzles of natural history: that of the Mysterious Bird of Ulieta. Seen only once, in 1774, by Captain Cook's second expedition to the South Seas, a single specimen was captured, preserved, and brought back to England. The bird was given to famed naturalist Joseph Banks, who displayed it proudly in his collection until its sudden, unexplained disappearance. Two hundred years later, naturalists continue to wonder if the world will ever get another glimpse of the elusive bird. Were it not for a colored drawing done by the ship's artist, there would be nothing to say that the bird had ever existed. The Conjurer's Birdis a gripping literary mystery and passionate love story that tackles the intrigue surrounding the celebrated Banks, his secret affair with an enigmatic woman known only as "Miss B," and the legendary bird that becomes a touchstone for their love. Seamlessly spanning two time periods,The Conjurer's Birdis at once the story of this romance and of a present-day conservationist named Fitz, who is drawn into a thrilling and near-impossible race to find the elusive bird's only known remains. An Alternate Selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club and Quality Paperback Book Club
Publisher: New York : Shaye Areheart Books, c2005.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9781400097333
Branch Call Number: F Davi
Characteristics: 384 p. ; 25 cm.


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Jan 05, 2015

This is an interesting book set both in the present and in 1775 when Joseph Banks joined Cook's expedition and discovered a new species of bird. Only one was ever seen, captured, stuffed and returned to England where it sat on Banks' desk for years before disappearing forever. John Fitzgerald sees a painting of it done during Cook's voyage and sets out to see if he can find the specimen. The story flits back and forth with each chapter between the two time frames. I found the descriptions of the voyage, the finding of the bird and the events afterward quite engaging, as I did the first person narrative of Fitzgerald and his quest for the bird. A good read and interesting for those of us who like period pieces.


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