The title has been decided in the last few weeks. It will be “The Georgian Menagerie: Exotic Animals in Eighteenth-Century London”. It feels great to finally have a title to work with and imagine as I finish up the book over the next few weeks. The book will be released in late July 2015.
I am putting together the manuscript now. Writing “The Georgian Menagerie” has required a lot of extra research to enrich the stories in the book and give a better sense of animals in London. I have found some really wonderful material. I’ll be sharing some of this in a regular schedule of blog posts from September. To write this book I have been something of an anatomist; cutting away at my thesis to extract sources and putting them into something new. It has been a long but absorbing year.
I’ll be sending my publish the manuscript in early September. From then onwards please do check this blog regularly as I will be posting bits about the book and my research on a weekly basis.
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.
George Stubbs, Rhinoceros (1790-1792)Royal College of Surgeons
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!