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Half-French, half-American, poorly educated and chronically short of money, Audubon came to Britain in 1826 and spent 12 years there, in search of patrons and publishers for his extraordinary paintings of birds. He insisted that they must be reproduced on double-elephant folio paper - sheets almost 40 inches by 30 - so that even the largest species could be represented life size. No one in America was willing to do this, but Audubon's obsessiveness eventually paid off. This volume draws on Audubon's journals and letters, and the archives of the families with whom he stayed and worked to provide a magnificent portrait of his life.