Join The Friends for another lively First Friday Book Club.
A poignant but revealing novel about Elizabeth Gould, artist, mother of 8 children and wife of John Gould, the famous ornithologist. Credited only by her initials, alongside John’s, for creating over 650 hand-coloured lithographs very little is known about the artist.
Melissa Ashley creates a wonderful story which links facts with creativity to give us a portrait of an unrecognised artist. Elizabeth Gould spent her life capturing the sublime beauty of birds the world had never seen before, but her legacy was eclipsed by the fame of her husband, John Gould. Now, The Birdman’s Wife at last gives voice to a passionate and adventurous spirit, who was so much more than the woman behind the man.
In England’s golden age of discovery, as John Gould and his peers fuelled popular imagination with their scientific findings, Elizabeth deftly navigated a world that few women were permitted to enter. Juggling an artistic life with her roles as wife, lover, helpmate and mother, she breathed wondrous life into hundreds of exotic new species. A woman ahead of her time, she continually defied convention, eventually embarking on a trailblazing expedition to collect and illustrate Australia’s ‘curious’ birdlife.
Discussing Elizabeth's life and her amazing talent will make for a most interesting discussion with The Friends.