I was recently offered a book contract with the publisher I.B.Tauris to write a history of exotic animals in eighteenth-century Britain. Although the title is to be decided, the book will be a total re-working of my doctoral thesis and more recent research. It is an exciting project and I am thrilled to be writing for a larger non-fiction audience.
On Saturday I saw the University of Virginia Press* proof of the essay I wrote on the zebra that belonged to Queen Charlotte. It will be published late this Autumn (2011) in an edited collection called Afterlife of Animals: A Museum Menagerie, edited by Samuel Alberti.
This essay was great fun to write, especially since it involved delving into lewd and bawdy satires and poems about the “Queen’s Ass”. As a whole the essay is a cultural history or biography of the zebra in Georgian Britain and explores the manner in which animals can attain celebrity (or notoriety) and become embedded in humour and satire - especially when associated with a monarch.
The full bibliographic details (to date) of the essay will be:
Plumb, Christopher. ‘The Queen’s Ass’: The Cultural Life of Queen Charlotte’s Zebra in Georgian Britain. The Afterlife of Animals: A Museum Menagerie, ed. Samuel Alberti. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, forthcoming Autumn/Fall 2011
* I especially like that the essay is about Queen Charlotte and that the publisher is based in Charlottesville, Virginia.
This is a new blog where I hope to share my previous research and the progress on my current projects – stay tuned!