The Ravenmaster

The Ravenmaster

My Life with the Ravens at the Tower of London

Christopher Skaife

Yeoman Warder of

Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress

The Tower of London

Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, Oct 2018

241 pages, hardcover, paperback, ebook, audiobook

Memoirs, Historical (Anglophile), Non-fiction

✭✭✭✭

Christmas gift from my husband

The cover is really eye-catching with the author in his uniform in the foreground with Merlina on his pike and the fog-shrouded fortress in the background. It really emphasizes the idea of their guarding the palace and the monarchy. Whether there’s any truth to the saying or not.

This combination of a personal memoir, nature book, British history, and humorous tall tales is a wonderful read. I couldn’t decide what genre to place it in. The publisher labeled it a memoir, and that’s fine, but it’s so much more than that. Chris Skaife talks about his life as a youngster who obviously got into more than his share of trouble. He relates incidents from his 25 years in the military. There were reviews that complained about his personal life, and I could relate to that. This was where I got bogged down myself. About halfway through, I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to finish the book. But this is about a man who is part of a group required to be retired from the military and be the cream of the crop. So the military has played a major role in all their lives. You don’t leave that behind just because you no longer wear that uniform. Also, they still wear another uniform and lead a regimented life serving the monarchy. So, while I did take away a star for all the weapons talk in that center portion, I finished the book and can honestly say I really loved it.

Like another reviewer, I also wished there had been more pictures of the ravens, but I follow @ravenmaster on Twitter and see them there.

About seven years ago I was lucky enough to travel to London and see the ravens in action for myself. I got so engrossed in watching them that I forgot to take pictures of them. I only have one photo! But I bought a stuffed one in the gift shop so I could have one to take home with me. I made the trip with my daughter and as soon as we got home we wanted to go back! Our Yeoman Warder was fascinating with his rambling stories and hints of horror and out-and-out gore. While reading the book, I found many bits and pieces of the stories we’d been told coming back to me.

Something that simply amazed me about England is the age. I’m American, and we’re only several hundred years old. In England, you walk around a corner in town and come face to face with tea shops that have been doing business since before we even had our independence. We got on a bus and took a ride out into Wiltshire. As we came around the curve the rolling hills parted and revealed Stonehenge. Just sitting there on the side of the road! The English live with their history whereas here in American we put it under lock and key. Granted, the Stonehenge is fenced and you have to pay to see it. But there are several other henges nearby that you can touch.

Well, back to the book. Chris covers his life, the history of the tower to some degree, and the history of the ravens. He also looks into the future of the birds. Due to the hunting of ravens across agricultural England years ago, the population is very reduced. In the past, the birds have been gifted to the Tower and have been a combination of wild and hand-bred birds. Chris is looking at starting a breeding program for Tower ravens. I think if anyone can do it, Christopher Skaife can. I wish him all the luck. And I definitely recommend this book.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

Deb's Art

Fiber, Fabric, Ceramic, Fiction, Website: www.debthumanart.com

Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks

...of Books (Book Review Blog)

The Pondering Knitter

An honest search for happiness, fulfillment, and new projects

Knits and Rambles

A yarn journey

Myra Beth Knits

Procrasta-knitting at its finest

knitsareforkids

My adventures in making yarn, knitting, crocheting and other crafty goodness

NICOLA KNITS

just me, waffling on about knitting, crochet and life

Tin Can Knits

modern seamless knits for the whole family

Knitting in the Park

A blog about knitting, homemaking and creative living

Knitting

Patterns, projects and techniques

The Ramblings of a Knitting Goddess

I knit. I laugh. I dream.

Eliza Vs. The World

Office worker by day; film & television reviewer, curly hair enthusiast, and lifestyle blogger by night (or whenever inspiration is nagging at the back of her head and won't shut up).

The Snowless Knitter

Adventures in life and knitting in a warm weather climate

Le Petit Saint Crochet

Sharing my thoughts about whimsical amigurumi, creative crochet, and running a handmade business.

the twisted yarn

Knitting, crochet, running, and silliness.

City Women & co

Wellbeing | Health | Lifestyle

Annabookbel

Noli domo egredi, nisi librum habes – Never leave home without a book.

Jenniely

Award Winning UKYA Book Blogger, Book Reviews, Writing and Life

Just Nita

"A Positive Push"

The Art of Blogging

For bloggers who aspire to inspire

the Little Red Reviewer

Book Reviews: Scifi, Fantasy, and the stuff in between

The Bibliophagist

Reviewing young adult, new adult, and romance since 2013.

Just saying

A bored mum and wife with lots on her mind

must love reviews

Where books come to be loved

Itinerant Muse, L.L.C.

Content Writing & Proofreading Services

The Godly Chic Diaries

BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH

(CALIATH)

A land of ineptitude.

The Budding Ken

opening the mind and heart through poetry

Down the Rabbit Hole with Sir LeprechaunRabbit

Serious about Genealogy? Let this Olde Grey hare show you about

UndeniablySara

Learning how to live well with chronic illnesses.

Spellbound Librarian

A lover of magical books : Book reviews, and general book rambling

issiaksonhudson

Garden of thoughts.

LFBooks

One Woman Army and A Dog

Readin' Under Street-Lamps

everything books, served with a side of sarcasm.

Uptown Oracle

Books, Beauty and Lifestyle.

Passionately Perusing

Librarian. Book blogger. Reader

NextDraft

The Day's Most Fascinating News

irevuo

art. popular since 10,000 BC

Life in prison...

It certainly wasn’t on my bucket list but it happened! Here are my stories of what life is like for women in prison xoxo

The Bibliofile

Book Reviews, Books, Bestsellers, Literary Fiction

Life Has a Funny Way

Reviews of all the latest YA, Fantasy, Crime and Chic Lit novels

Quirky Reviews

Sleep is good, she said, and books are better

Inspired!!!

I only write what I'm inspired to, everything else seems mediocre

Charlie De Luca- Author

On life, writing and horses!

Moosmosis

Exploring an Arts & Sciences Education

FNM

Book Reviews and More

%d bloggers like this: