Neil Armstrong

Adventures in the Plumage Trade

The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century

By

Hutchinson 297pp £20 order from our bookshop

Kirk Wallace Johnson was waist high in New Mexico’s Red River fishing for trout when he first heard the bizarre story at the heart of this unusual and engrossing page-turner. He was using off-the-shelf flies: hooks wrapped in various materials to mimic the often-drab aquatic insects that trout feed on. His guide, Spencer Seim, showed him a home-made salmon fly, ‘one of the most strangely beautiful things I’d ever seen … It bore the feathers of a dozen different birds, flashing crimson and canary yellow, turquoise and setting-sun orange.’

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Whom did Picasso label a 'bristly pig'? Read Rosalind P Blakesley's review of The Collector by Natalya Semenova to… ,
    • Alexandra Gajda on Anna Beer's new biography, Patriot or Traitor: The Life and Death of Sir Walter Ralegh ,
    • Mark Lawson reviews @jonathancoe's Middle England - The Rotters' Club for our Brexit age. ,
    • 'Behind every book that is published lies ... a haunted landscape, populated by the ghosts of things written and ex… ,
    • 'We once more live in a great age of dragon invention' Here's Tom Shippey on Martin Arnold's The Dragon ,
    • RT : Man at the q&a part of the book panel: Don't say it Don't say it Don't say it Don't say it Don't say it Don't s… ,
    • Here's @epkaufm's Whiteshift, reviewed in this month's magazine by ,