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Beastly London


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Table of Contents

Introduction: Revealing the Beasts 1 Livestock: Londoners' Nuisance Neighbours 2 Working Animals: Straining Every Muscle 3 Sporting Animals: Natural Instincts Exploited 4 Animals as Entertainers: Performance, Peculiarity and Pressure 5 Exotic Animals: The Allure of the Foreign and the Wild 6 Pampered Pets and Sad Strays 7 London Wildlife: The Persecuted and the Celebrated Final Thoughts: An Apology and a Pardon References Acknowledgements Photo Acknowledgements Index

About the Author

Hannah Velten is a freelance writer based in Fletching, East Sussex, and the author of Cow (Reaktion, 2007) and Milk (Reaktion, 2010).


"Velten's lively account, which draws upon famous chroniclers of London life, including Pepys and Dickens, as well as period prints, paintings, and photographs, explores the hidden life of animals in the city. Like many histories, it's colourful, but shot through with brutality. Beasts of burden were not always treated well by their owners, and for centuries bloodsports such as bear baiting and cockfights provided vulgar but robust entertainment. Performing animals probably had a happier life. Among her cast of theatrical creatures, Velten introduces Toby the Sapient Pig, who could pick up letters written on cards and rearrange them into words, and a 'Chien Savant', who knew the Greek alphabet."

-- "World of Interiors"

"Well researched, it is written in a popular style. It covers animal life from a variety of angles . . . beautifully produced and packed with a variety of well-chosen images, ranging from lithographs and photographs to paintings and cartoons."

-- "Times Literary Supplement"

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