The Georgian Menagerie: Exotic Animals in Eighteenth-Century London
In the eighteenth century, it would not have been impossible to encounter an elephant or a kangaroo making its way down the Strand, heading towards the menagerie of Mr. Pidcock at the Exeter Change. Pidcock’s was just one of a number of commercial menagerists who plied their trade in London in... show more
In the eighteenth century, it would not have been impossible to encounter an elephant or a kangaroo making its way down the Strand, heading towards the menagerie of Mr. Pidcock at the Exeter Change. Pidcock’s was just one of a number of commercial menagerists who plied their trade in London in this period–the predecessors to the zoological societies of the Victorian era. As the British Empire expanded and seaborne trade flooded into London’s ports, the menagerists gained access to animals from the most far-flung corners of the globe, and these strange creatures became the objects of fascination and wonder. Many aristocratic families sought to create their own private menageries with which to entertain their guests, while for the less well-heeled, touring exhibitions of exotic creatures–both alive and dead–satisfied their curiosity for the animal world. While many exotic creatures were treasured as a form of spectacle, others fared less well–turtles went into soups and civet cats were sought after for ingredients for perfume. In this entertaining and enlightening book, Plumb introduces the many tales of exotic animals in London.
Publish date: 2015-08-30
Publisher: I. B. Tauris
Pages no: 304
Edition language: English
Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley. I’ve always wanted a tiger, but I’ve always not wanted a tiger. Tigers are beautiful animals, but do you really want an animal that will never fully be tame and could just kill you by accident? How many times does your cat scratch you? It’s also t...
It must have been fun to live in a time when people believed in dragons. Elephants, you see "waded into pools of water when they wanted to give birth; a male would stand by the pool to guard the mother from their mortal enemy, the dragon." How marvelous.Unfortunately, that seems like one of the only...
My thanks to I.B. Tauris & Co. and Net Galley for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This is a fascinating book. I’m one of those people who find the history of the good and great all very well but I’m more interested in what everybody else and society at large was up...