Animals in Victorian Literature and Culture: Contexts for by Laurence W. Mazzeno, Ronald D. Morrison

By Laurence W. Mazzeno, Ronald D. Morrison

This assortment comprises twelve provocative essays from a various crew of overseas students, who make the most of a number interdisciplinary methods to investigate “real” and “representational” animals that stand out as culturally major to Victorian literature and tradition. Essays specialise in a variety of canonical and non-canonical Victorian writers, together with Charles Dickens, Anthony Trollope, Anna Sewell, Emily Bronte, James Thomson, Christina Rossetti, and Richard Marsh, they usually concentrate on a various array of types: fiction, poetry, journalism, and letters. those essays examine quite a lot of cultural attitudes and literary remedies of animals within the Victorian Age, together with the improvement of the animal security stream, the importation of animals from the increasing Empire, the acclimatization of British animals in different international locations, and the issues linked to expanding puppy possession.  The assortment additionally comprises an creation co-written through the editors and recommendations for additional research, and should turn out of curiosity to students and scholars around the a number of disciplines which contain Animal Studies. 

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Of all the requests for an assistant, perhaps the most interesting is one that involves John James Audubon, who knew Lord Derby and occasionally contributed birds and skins to the Knowsley Hall Aviary and Museum. In around 1838 Lord Derby was interested in sending out someone to accompany Audubon, and thereby procure specimens from North America for his Aviary. Edward Lear, who had been working for Lord Derby as an illustrator of his menagerie and was a good friend of Audubon’s son, heard of the request and apparently let it be known he was interested.

And in 1849 an exhausted Bates declared to Lord Derby: “I have employed myself making cages . . and harness for the deer . . all with my own hand except for a little assistance from my man” (Letterbooks). Moving the captured specimens down a river or across land to a port was also laborious and tricky. Over land, animals were often transported by hired oxen-drawn wagons, many of which broke down or were pulled by an insufficient number of oxen for the weight the wagon carried; still other wagons were detained for debt.

MORRISON expression that “England is the hell of dumb animals” (Ritvo 1987, 126), Dickens and Wills (1850) explicitly use images of hell and its torments in describing Smithfield Market. ” In another description, they portray the drovers as dropping burning pitch on the backs of frantic livestock (122). Victorian readers could hardly fail to notice that the “Market of the Capital of the World” has transformed itself into “a ghastly and blasphemous Nightmare” (123), hardly befitting a Christian country.

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