The Phoenix by Sylvia Townsend Warner Summary

Lord Strawbery had a splendid bird sanctuary in Europe. It was massive and even had a climate suited to animals. But for a long time, one place was always empty: Phoenix Habitats. Many bird experts told Lord Strawberry that the breed of Phoenix was extinct but once it was a marvelous breed. But Lord Strawberry never wanted to believe them and he never did like everyone in his family. For years while he was searching for a phoenix many people brought him different breeds of birds and claiming that they were phoenixes. After a while, Lord Strawberry decided to go to Arabia himself to find one and he did.

It was a phenomenal phoenix and had fantastic characteristics. But the problem was bird sanctuary cost him a great amount of money. When he died after World War II he was poor. In those hard times, money was hard to find and bird-seed was expensive which was the reason he died poor. The London Times said that the bird should be bought for the London Zoo which is why they started a fund. Mr. Poldero who was the owner of Poldero’s Wizard Wonderworld closed with the highest offer. At first, the fund was helpful and they collected a lot of money from people who came to visit the phoenix and after some time their business slowed down and a lot of time passed since the last time someone paid to see him.

Mr. Polero thought he was too quiet for people to look at and draw attention to. So he had this thought of swapping him with a younger and livelier phoenix but the problem was that he was unique and they won’t be able to find another. After doing some thinking they remembered that one of the characteristics of phoenixes was that when they become old they firstly build themselves a nest and after burst into flames and reborn from their ashes. So they thought they could first find needed material for the nest and age him as he wasn’t old enough to reborn. Mr.Polero did everything he can to age the Phoenix and when he finally achieved it first they advertised it so that they could sell a bird like that and after they signed a contract for filming right and filmed everything that happened when he burst himself into flames.


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