A biography of Francis Willughby, the first ornithologist. Francis Willughby lived and thrived in the midst of the scientific revolution of the 17th century. Along with his Cambridge tutor John Ray, Willughby was determined to overhaul the whole of natural history and impose order on its complexity. It was exhilarating, exacting and exhausting work. Yet before Willughby and Ray could complete their monumental encyclopaedia of birds, Willughby died. In the centuries since, Ray’s reputation has grown, obscuring that of his collaborator. Now, for the first time, Willughby’s own story and genius are given the attention they deserve.