Richard Meinertzhagen: Soldier, Scientist & Spy by Mark Cocker

Richard Meinertzhagen: Soldier, Scientist & Spy by Mark Cocker soon to be presented for sale on the special BookLovers of Bath web site!

Published: London: Secker & Warburg, 1989, Hardback in dust wrapper.

Contains: Black & white photographs;

From the cover: Richard Meinertzhagen was one of the most extraordinary Englishmen of the twentieth century. In a long career that found him combining the roles of soldier, secret agent and ornithologist, Meinertzhagen attracted controversy at every stage and in every context. As a soldier in East Africa in the first years of the century he assassinated a tribal chief, which led eventually to his recall to England. During the First World War he rose to prominence as an officer on the staff of General Allenby in Palestine, where his brilliantly deceptive intelligence work played a crucial role in the final victory of the campaign. With T. E. Lawrence he attended the Paris Peace Conference, where he was active in support of Zionist aspirations, a cause he supported for the rest of his life.

Retiring at the age of forty-six, Meinertzhagen devoted the next forty years to natural history (combined with some hair-raising espionage) becoming the best-known and inevitably the most controversial ornithologist of his day. He published scores of journal articles and papers on all aspects of the subject, as well as two classic books on the birds of the Middle East: Nicolls Birds of Egypt and Birds of Arabia. In later years he published three volumes of his extensive personal diary, the first of which, Kenya Diary, was recently reissued to great acclaim.

In this fascinating biography, Mark Cocker presents a rounded and scrupulously fair portrait of a man who, Cocker argues, has not been given his due by history.

Very Good in Very Good Dust Wrapper. Previous owners’ name to the first blank. Pages lightly age-tanned, more heavily so at the margins.

Black boards with Gilt titling to the Spine. 292 pages. Index. Bibliography. 9½” x 6¼”.

Of course, if you don’t like this one, may I woo you with the cream of the crop in my Biography catalogue?

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