Cloth $50.00 ISBN: 9781780231679 Published November 2013 For sale in North and South America only

Beastly London

A History of Animals in the City

Hannah Velten

Hannah Velten

Distributed for Reaktion Books

272 pages | 40 color plates, 80 halftones | 7 1/2 x 10 | © 2013
Cloth $50.00 ISBN: 9781780231679 Published November 2013 For sale in North and South America only
 Horse-drawn cabs rattling down muddy roads, cattle herded through the streets to the Smithfield meat market for slaughter, roosters crowing at the break of dawn—London was once filled with a cacophony of animal noises (and smells). But over the last thirty years, the city seems to have banished animals from its streets. In Beastly London, Hannah Velten uses a wide range of primary sources to explore the complex and changing relationship between Londoners of all classes and their animal neighbors.
Velten travels back in history to describe a time when Londoners shared their homes with pets and livestock—along with a variety of other pests, vermin, and bedbugs; Londoners imported beasts from all corners of the globe for display in their homes, zoos, and parks; and ponies flying in hot air balloons and dancing fleas were considered entertainment. As she shows, London transformed from a city with a mainly exploitative relationship with animals to the birthplace of animal welfare societies and animal rights’ campaigns. Packed with over one hundred illustrations, Beastly London is a revealing look at how animals have been central to the city’s success.
Times Literary Supplement
“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.”


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




Photo Acknowledgements


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