Strange Creatures: The Story of Walter Rothschild and His Museum
Hyperion, 2011 (2011)
Reviewed by Bob Walch
hen I was quite young I was very, very shy and didn't talk much. I lived on a big estate outside of London with my parents. My dad was banker to the Queen of England and we had a very big house.
lthough I didn't care much for mixing with other people, I did love collecting bugs, birds and animals that lived on the property we owned. But my father didn't approve; he called my collecting
uckily, my mother encouraged me because she thought this interest would bring me out of my shell and make me less shy.
hen one day, when I was seven, I saw a circle parade with lots of animals and I was so excited that when I got home I told my parents, '
I'm going to collect animals from all over the world and build a museum, and I'm going to call it My Museum!
ventually I did do just what I said. Although I did have to go to work in the family business, I studied under a famous zoologist named Albert Gunther at the Natural History Museum in London. When I was older and had my own money, I began funding expeditions to exotic lands to collect specimens.
emembering what I told my family when I was a child, I did finally construct a large building on the family estate, which became
. It housed my collection of creatures and specimens. Experts came to study the collection and during my lifetime I wrote many books and named five thousand new species.
think you'll really enjoy reading about my life and how I made my dream a reality. If you have a dream and people tell you it will never happen, I say, '
' Like me, if you don't listen and stay focused, you will very likely make that dream come true. Of course, I have to admit that having access to a lot of money made it easier for me!
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