Atlas Obscura Society Los Angeles: The Ravenmaster

Resident & Atlas Obscura Society Present

Atlas Obscura Society Los Angeles: The Ravenmaster

Wed · October 17, 2018

7:30 pm (event ends at 10:00 pm)


This event is 21 and over

The Ravenmaster
The Ravenmaster
Celebrate the publication of Christopher Skaife's new memoir, The Ravenmaster: My Life with the Ravens at the Tower of London, with a special author event at The Resident in downtown Los Angeles.

Skaife is a Yeoman Warder, or as they are more popularly known, a Beefeater. The Beefeaters are former soldiers with at least 22 years of unblemished military service who are the ceremonial guards of the Tower of London. In days past, they were charged with looking after prisoners and safeguarding the Crown Jewels. Today, they act as the custodians of the Tower’s rich history and traditions.

Being a Yeoman Warder in 2018 requires an unusual skill set. As Skaife puts it, it's a “cross between being a security guard, a ceremonial guard, an amateur historian, and a stand-up comedian.” As a veteran of the British Army, a lover of history, and a gregarious, charismatic storyteller, Skaife took naturally to his new position. Six months into the job something unexpected happened—Derrick Coyle, the existing Ravenmaster, noticed the ravens taking a liking to Skaife.

The Tower of London is home to seven ravens that have a special place in British folklore. Legend has it, going back to the time of Charles II, that if a raven should ever leave the Tower of London, the kingdom will fall. In time, Skaife would inherit Coyle’s duties as the Tower’s official Ravenmaster. It is the duty of the Ravenmaster to make sure these brilliant and frequently misunderstood corvids are healthy, happy, and ready to captivate the four million tourists who flock annually to the world’s eeriest monument. For Skaife, it would also be the beginning of a transformative partnership.

Join Mr. Skaife as he regales us with stories and adventures connected to his unique profession. He'll show video and slides of his work, introducing the group to the seven ravens with which he closely works. Following the talk, we'll have a Q & A and Mr. Skaife will also sign copies of his memoir.

For those interested in a little more personal contact, VIP tickets are available. The VIP ticket includes:

A copy of The Ravenmaster
Priority seating
Access to a pre-event reception with Mr. Skaife
Photo opportunity with Mr. Skaife
Free libations (2 drink max)
General admission will include the talk and Q & A. Seating is first come, first served. Copies of the book and libations are an additional charge.


“A delightful read from a masterful—and very funny—storyteller. Christopher Skaife the Ravenmaster knows birds in a way that humans rarely do. He gives us an intimate insider’s view of the seven big, powerful, boisterous ravens who rule his life, who tease him mercilessly and teach him well, who play KerPlunk, who plan and execute elaborate ploys for stealing sandwiches, who guard the Tower of London and its visitors (and only occasionally terrorize them),who are—as he says with characteristic insight—much like us: brave, silly, ruthless, charming, unpredictable, brilliant, lovable, and complex.”

—Jennifer Ackerman, author of the New York Times-bestselling The Genius of Birds

“For those seeking the secrets of the Tower of London without actually being imprisoned there, [Christopher Skaife’s The Ravenmaster] is just the thing.”

—Kirkus Reviews

There will be copies of The Ravenmaster available at the event for purchase.
21+ ONLY
Venue Information:
428 S Hewitt Street
Los Angeles, CA, 90013