By Laurence W. Mazzeno, Ronald D. Morrison
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Extra info for Animals in Victorian Literature and Culture: Contexts for Criticism (Palgrave Studies in Animals and Literature)
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.