Anna MacDonald reviews 'The Birdman's Wife' by Melissa Ashley

The Birdman’s Wife is about passion, obsession, and ambition. Narrated by Elizabeth (Eliza) Gould, the novel relates her marriage to, and creative partnership with, zoologist John Gould. Opening with their meeting at the Zoological Society of London in 1828, Eliza’s narrative charts the years of her collaboration with Gould – including the time spent in the Australian colonies classifying and illustrating the native birdlife – as a result of which she came to be celebrated ‘not just [as] a wife and mother’, but as a zoological illustrator in her own right.

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