In 1803, an eighteen-year-old West Indies-born Frenchman arrived in New York City, fleeing Napoleon's conscription. His work would become inextricably entwined with the new world he so proudly adopted in his motto "America, my country."
Inspired by the primeval forests and the vast flocks of birds that thrived in them, Audubon spent the next several decades of his life painstakingly documenting the birds of the American wilderness. He traveled the back roads and bayous, searching out and studying the birds that were his pastime and passion. He spent long, silent hours observing them in the wild. He was no amateur ornithologist; rather, he drew his birds from life, and his work always carried the line "drawn from nature by J. J. Audubon."
Accompanied by his wife, Lucy, and their two sons, Audubon was able to challenge the world's expectations and win. The story of this loving family's long, profound struggle is as poignant and as relevant today as it was in the early decades of the nineteenth century.
Combining meticulous scholarship with the dramatic life story of a naturalist and pioneer, Audubon
reexamines the artist's journals and letters to tell the story of Audubon's quest, the origins of the American spirit, and the sacrifice that resulted in one of the world's greatest bodies of art: The Birds of America.