A Love Affair with Birds: The Life of Thomas Sadler Roberts by Sue Leaf

By Sue Leaf


Imagine a Minneapolis so small that, on calm days, the roar of St. Anthony Falls should be heard on the town, a time whilst passenger pigeons roosted in local oak timber. Now photograph a dapper professor accomplishing his ornithology classification (the university’s first) via streetcar to Lake Harriet for a morning of bird-watching. the scholars have been quite often younger women—in sunhats, sailor tops, and lengthy skirts, with binoculars strung round their necks. The professor used to be Thomas Sadler Roberts (1858–1946), a physician for 3 many years, a chook lover nearly from start, the daddy of Minnesota ornithology, and the fellow who, might be greater than the other, promoted the research of the state’s typical historical past. A Love Affair with Birds is the 1st complete biography of this key determine in Minnesota’s past.

Roberts got here to Minnesota as a boy and commenced conserving targeted bills of Minneapolis’s birds. those journals, which grew to become the root for his landmark paintings The Birds of Minnesota, additionally tell this publication, affording a view of the state’s wealthy avian existence in its early days—and of a tender guy whose ardour for birds and perform of medication between Minneapolis’s elite ultimately dovetailed in his launching of the liked Bell Museum of average History.

Bird fanatic, surgeon, writer, curator, educator, conservationist: each bankruptcy in Roberts’s lifestyles is usually a bankruptcy within the state’s historical past, and in his tale acclaimed writer Sue Leaf—an avid fowl fanatic and nature lover herself—captures a real Minnesota personality and his time.

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