NOEL VIRTUE (1947–2016) was a novelist from New Zealand. In 1967 he went to Britain, where he became a zookeeper for the London Zoological Society and eventually head keeper of the Welsh Mountain Zoo. He left zookeeping in the late 1970s to concentrate on writing. He received wide acclaim for his novel The Redemption of Elsdon Bird, which was published in 1987. Like much of his writing, the novel was autobiographical in nature, relating the anguished experiences of a young boy growing up in Wellington in the 1950s. He was the author of twelve novels and two collections of autobiography.
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