Synopses & Reviews
What is so compelling about falconry? Tim Gallagher mines his lifelong obsession with falcons for an answer in this engaging volume interweaving memoir, history, and travelogue. An entire subculture of the sport exists outside the mainstream of American society, consisting of obsessed individuals who still use the ancient training techniques and language of falconry. Gallagher finds that his personal story connects on many levels with that of Frederick II, the thirteenth-century Holy Roman Emperor, legendary falconer, and notorious freethinker who brought the full wrath of the medieval Church down upon his dynasty. While following in Fredericks footsteps through southern Italy, Gallagher ponders his own history as well. What salve to his spirit did falconry provide when it ignited his passion at age twelve? Beset by a turbulent childhood dominated by a brutal and violent father, Gallagher turned to this sport for emotional release. He offers us a unique glimpse into contemporary falconry, and the result is a surprisingly frank and revealing personal story.
Gallagher mines his lifelong obsession with falcons in this engaging volume, interweaving memoir, history, and travelogue.
About the Author
As Tim Gallagher was working on his book The Grail Bird, he was among the first to sight the long-thought-extinct ivory-billed woodpecker in Arkansas, which led to a multi-million-dollar effort to confirm the sighting and protect the bird's dwindling habitat. The sighting changed the direction of the book, for which Gallagher won the Outdoor Writers Association of America's Best Book award for 2005. Gallagher is editor-in-chief of Living Bird magazine and of The Journal of the North American Falconers' Association.
Table of Contents
CONTENTS Introduction 1
PART I MY BACK PAGES 1 2 Rex and Rowdy 30 3 The Biker 43 4 Blow Up 57 5 Flying Free 70 6 Centerville Days 80 7 The Long Spiral Downward 93 8 Desolation Row 107 9 O Tank 122
PART II MY FREDERICK II YEAR 10 In Frederick IIs Footsteps 147 11 Winter in Wyoming 158 12 Highland Fling 174 13 A Born-Again Falconer 193 14 Forty Years After 207 GallagherFalcFev_i-x_1-326.indd ix 2/12/08 1:45:36 PM 15 The Saracen Citadel 231 16 The Eye of Apulia 247 17 Jewel of the Hill 256 18 On to Sicily 264 19 Palermo without a Map 273 20 The Hawks of Herculaneum 283 21 See Rome and Die 294 22 Homeward Bound 310
Epilogue 319 Acknowledgments 323