Christopher Skaife


Christopher Skaife is Yeoman Warder (Beefeater) and Ravenmaster at the Tower of London. He has served in the British Army for twenty-four years, during which time he became a machine-gun specialist as well as an expert in survival and interrogation resistance. He has been featured on the History Channel, PBS, the BBC, Buzzfeed, Slate, and more. He lives at the Tower with his wife and, of course, the ravens.

Average rating: 4.06 · 4,045 ratings · 833 reviews · 1 distinct workSimilar authors
The Ravenmaster: My Life wi...

4.06 avg rating — 4,045 ratings — published 2018 — 31 editions
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“The black can be sooty, soily, glazed, cindery, blackboard black, kohl black, coal black, noir, schwarz, nero. I don’t know how many words and phrases there are to describe black—slate black, cast-iron black, jet black, flat-screen-TV black, ink black, burnt black, liturgical black, hell black—but the raven’s black is as various and as a dense as there are meanings and values attached to the very idea of black, black representing death, mourning, negation, sin, solemnity, the vacancy of space, and all the horrors of human terror and the exercise of power.”
Christopher Skaife, The Ravenmaster: Life with the Ravens at the Tower of London

“I also keep a jar full of raven feathers in the storeroom, kindly donated by the ravens once a year during their molt, and which I occasionally like to distribute to deserving/well-behaved/lucky visitors. If I’m doing a Tower tour, for example, and I discover that a couple just got married or engaged, I like to give them a pair of feathers—a primary and a secondary, since without one the other is no good. I’m an old romantic at heart.”
Christopher Skaife, The Ravenmaster: Life with the Ravens at the Tower of London

“He was such a friendly bird. It was Thor who was perched on the wooden steps leading up to the White Tower on the occasion of the official visit by Vladimir Putin, and who greeted him with his deep bass ‘Good morning.’ He’d say hello to anybody, Thor.”
Christopher Skaife, The Ravenmaster: My Life with the Ravens at the Tower of London

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