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The Conjurer's Bird: A Novelby Martin Davies
Synopses & Reviews
The Conjurer’s Bird is a beautiful story in the spirit of Possession that is as exciting as The 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 Bird is 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 Bird is 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
From the Hardcover edition.
Martin Davies, a television producer, is the
Searching for the remains of an extinct bird that had once been in the collection of eighteenth-century naturalist Joseph Banks, Fitz, a modern-day conservationist, uncovers some of the mysteries of Banks's life, including an enigmatic woman with a strange connection to the bird. Reader's Guide included. Reprint. 15,000 first printing.
In 1774, an unusual bird was spotted on Captain Cook’s second expedition to the South Seas. This single specimen was captured, preserved, and brought back to England—and no other bird of its kind was ever seen again. The bird was given to naturalist Joseph Banks, who displayed it proudly in his collection until it too disappeared. Were it not for a colored drawing created by the ship’s artist, it would seem that the Mysterious Bird of Ulieta had never existed.
Two hundred years later, naturalist John Fitzgerald gets a call from an old friend asking him to join the search for the bird’s remains. He traces the bird’s history, uncovering surprising details about the role of a woman known only as Miss B in Joseph Banks’s life and career. Could she be the key to solving the mystery—to finally finding the lost Bird of Ulieta?
Seamlessly leaping between two time periods, The Conjurer’s Bird is at once the story of Joseph Banks’s secret life and of Fitz’s thrilling and near-impossible race to find the elusive bird.
A Book Sense Notable Book
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About the Author
Martin Davies, a senior producer at BBC Television, is the author of two mysteries featuring Sherlock Holmes’s housekeeper. He lives in London.
From the Hardcover edition.
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