Search Feature

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Kingdom Under Glass by Jay Kirk

A very kind fellow by the name of Jason... from the Henry Holt & Company publishers in New York... contacted me not long ago about a book he thought I might be interested in checking out.... Kingdom Under Glass by Jay Kirk
Being an avid outdoorswoman and hunter I jumped at the chance. :)

Kingdom Under Glass is the amazing story of Carl Akeley (1864-1926). An adventurer, inventor, wildlife photographer and the "father of modern taxidermy"... Akeley's real life story reads like a tall tale! If you've ever been to the American Museum of Natural History in New York, you might be familiar with the Akeley Hall of African Mammals.

Author Jay Kirk does a wonderful job of describing the life of Akeley and the era in which he lived. In a time of African safaris, adventure and romance.... Akeley's obsession to bring back and preserve the wild animal kingdom placed him into some amazing situations.

Can you imagine being charged and left for dead by a raging elephant... or killing a leapord with your bare hands? Also for my hunting friends... could you imagine field dressing an elephant in the wild or a gorilla on the edge of a cliff? Akeley did it all... and with his remarkable wife Mickie at his side.

Akeley rubbed shoulders with the "elite" of the time... Teddy Roosevelt, the Vanderbilts, P.T. Barnum. He was called upon by Barnum to "preserve" the famed Jumbo the elephant when he met his demise.

When I first skimmed through this book, the thought that crossed my mind was..... "I know what I'm getting for my hunting friends this Christmas!" lol

As I read more, I realized that Kingdom Under Glass is a book that EVERYONE will enjoy. If you love a good, true story will get a kick out of this book. :)

As for the title....
"Jay Kirk resurrects a legend and illuminates a fateful turning point when Americans had to decide whether to save nature, to destroy it, or to just stare at it under glass."

Check out Author Jay Kirk's site for more information about the book and the life of Akeley...

Thanks again Jason... I really enjoyed the read! :)


Bushman said...

Thanks for the info. I'm a sucker for a adventure stories. Of course once I read it I'll want to go on safari instead of climbing Everest. LOL

cowgirl said...

Thanks Bushman! It was an interesting read. I wonder what it would have been like to be Akeley's wife. They went through quite a bit together.
Hope you get to do both the safari and the climb Bushman! :)

Anonymous said...

Carl Akeley was a truly amazing individual who not only invented the techniques that lead to the creation of taxidermy mounts that were stunningly lifelike; but also invented a very sophisticated motion picture camera, and the process for ferro-cement to name but two. When you read about all he accomplished in his comparatively short lifetime you can’t but wonder how one person could have done so much. But then many others accomplished great things in an era where there were few distractions.

If this book whetted your appetite for more information about Akeley’s life and deeds I highly recommend that you read his book “In Brightest Africa”.

Finally, I believe that the only true way to appreciate the magnitude of this man’s personal genius is to visit the American Museum of Natural History in NY. I challenge anyone not to be awestruck when standing in the Akeley Hall of African Mammals.

cowgirl said...

Thank you Anonymous.. well said. :)

I will definately check into "In Brightest Africa".
I've not visited the Museum but hope to someday.. I can only imagine how magnificent the display must be....
Thanks again and I appreciate you stopping by. :)