The Ravenmaster

The Ravenmaster

My Life With the Ravens at the Tower of London

Book - 2018 | First edition.
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"A narrative by the Tower of London's official Ravenmaster about what it's like to live among the ravens at England's most famous national monument, woven together with insight from folklore, history, and contemporary behavioral science about this unusual bird"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2018.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780374113346
0374113343
Characteristics: viii, 241 pages, 8 unnumbered leaves of plates : illustrations, maps ; 22 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

Christopher Skaife has a highly unusual job: he is Ravenmaster for the Tower of London, taking care of the iconic birds that live there. In this book, he tells stories of his amazing ravens and his life with them.

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Beaverton_JennieC Apr 25, 2019

Skaife's memoir is an unexpected treat that will capture your attention from page one. Writing about his life as the official Ravenmaster at the Tower of London, the author weaves in fascinating scientific and behavioral facts about ravens, as well as millenia of raven myth and lore. Legend has i... Read More »

Learn about the Tower of London and the seven ravens that live there under the care of the author, a Yeoman Warder, one of the ceremonial guardians of one of London's top attractions.


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JessicaGma Oct 22, 2019

It's a lovely little book about the ravens and the raven masters - you learn a lot. Apparently the audiobook is read by the author, so give that a try for something fun!

LoganLib_Phoebe Jun 13, 2019

If you have ever visited the Tower of London, you should read this book. If you have never visited the Tower of London you should also read this book. Let Christopher Skaife, Ravenmaster and Yeoman Warder, give you a behind the scenes tour with a special focus on his charges, the Tower Ravens. They each have names and personalities! The book is infused with warmth and humour but is not without poignancy as Skaife reflects on his time in service and tragedies that have struck over the years.

Beaverton_JennieC Apr 25, 2019

Skaife's memoir is an unexpected treat that will capture your attention from page one. Writing about his life as the official Ravenmaster at the Tower of London, the author weaves in fascinating scientific and behavioral facts about ravens, as well as millenia of raven myth and lore. Legend has it that if the ravens disappear from the Tower, then England will fall, and so the Ravenmaster’s job is deadly serious. Luckily for us, though Skaife takes his job very, very seriously, his memoir is tons of fun to read. The author’s personality shines through on every page, and by the end of it you’ll be desperate to sit down and have a pint with him to hear him spin his yarns.

IndyPL_EllenF Mar 16, 2019

Chris Skaife's account of his life as Yeoman Warder and Ravenmaster at the Tower of London is filled with a love of history, a love of service, and a true love of the ravens he and his team care for every day. Each bird has a personality, from Merlina, who bonded with Chris and no one else, to Munin, who constantly tests the boundaries of raven behavior, and all the others in between, who show constantly that you should never underestimate a raven's intelligence or ability to be a trickster.

q
queensthief
Feb 14, 2019

Wonderful memoir, if for nothing else than it's such a unusual story. But it's not for nothing else! Skaife is lively and engaging and you get the sense that you're on site at the Tower and he's giving you a special tour.

l
lukasevansherman
Feb 14, 2019

If you like bird books, also pick up "H is for Hawk."

k
kennethbhill
Feb 02, 2019

A fun memoire to read about an ordinary bloke who found his way in life via military service in the UK, and who is grateful for his life caring for the ravens in the Tower of London. I've always known birds (and ravens in particular) are much smarter than we humans think; reading this book confirms this.

SnoIsleLib_EmilyZ Oct 30, 2018

Ravenmaster Christopher Skaife gives a charming tour of his life experiences and time at the Tower of London, particularly in regards to his clever corvid companions and their place in British lore. This is a solid choice for Anglophiles, bird-nerds, and history fans.

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