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Audubon's Elephant: America's Greatest Naturalist and the Making of The Birds of America

Hart-Davis, Duff

Published by Henry Holt and Co., U.S.A., 2004
ISBN 10: 0805075682 / ISBN 13: 9780805075687
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About the Book

Bibliographic Details

Title: Audubon's Elephant: America's Greatest ...

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co., U.S.A.

Publication Date: 2004

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Edition: 1st Edition


*First Printing (full # line starting with 1). Hardcover in Fine condition in a Fine dust jacket. Excellent book and a hard to find first printing. From the dj flap -- "Audubon's Elephant was the name given to John James Audubon's greatest work, 'The Birds of America'-- a folio of 435 life-size ornithological prints that remains the most enduring depiction of birdlife in the united States." DJ is unclipped and price-intact ($27.50). Bookseller Inventory # 001259

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Synopsis: A vividly illustrated account of John James Audubon?s struggle in England to complete his masterpiece, The Birds of America

Audubon?s Elephant was the nickname given to John James Audubon?s masterpiece, The Birds of America?an oversized folio of 435 life-size ornithological prints that remains to this day the most compelling depiction of bird life in the United States. Born in Haiti and raised in France, Audubon spent much of his adult life as a struggling American businessman on the frontier, where his obsession with birds nearly brought him to financial ruin. In 1826, his ambitious project was also in a precarious position?his folio remained unfinished, without an American publisher willing to fund it. Had Audubon not set sail for England, his artistic triumph might easily have turned into failure.

Audubon?s Elephant tells the story of the naturalist?s unlikely success in Britain as a self-exiled artist in search of the money and inspiration necessary to complete his life?s work. During twelve years spent traveling in Liverpool, Edinburgh, London, and Paris, Audubon won the interest of wealthy families, fellow artists, and the public with his eccentric brilliance and woodsman?s charisma, ultimately securing enough subscriptions to publish The Birds of America.

Duff Hart-Davis, himself a naturalist, has written a lively, highly engaging biography of Audubon?s heady and memorable days as a great American artist abroad.

About the Author: Duff Hart-Davis is an English writer and journalist celebrated particularly for his books and columns on the countryside. He was literary editor and assistant editor for The Daily Telegraph, and spent more than ten years as country columnist for The Independent. His lives in Gloucestershire, England, with his wife and two children.

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