The Edwardian fabulist who stole from the British Museum and got a whole species declared erroneously extinct
Wow, I live such a boring life…
This story sounds so cool, I just bought a biography about him.
Thanks for the lead, Maggie!
Arghh… can’t stop myself…
1914 isn’t “Edwardian”, and it’s the Natural History Museum. Simply the.
At the time it was formally the ‘British Museum (Natural History)’, based on the natural history collection of the British Museum, but there’s never been, and certainly isn’t now, a ‘British Museum of Natural History’.
Turns out, Meinertzhagen had a habit of stealing taxonomic specimens from museums, altering them, and then resubmitting them to different museums as his own discovery, complete with fabricated information about where and when he found the animal.
He is simply imitating his Creator, which is the apex of religious enlightenment. But thank goodness he didn’t have access to living humans.
There’s so much more to his story… he’s one of the biggest frauds ever, and the main inspiration for James Bond. That biography, The Meinertzhagen Mystery, is sure worth reading.
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