The Georgian Menagerie was published today by I.B.Tauris. One of the animal biographies or stories from the book appears in the form of a post on the Guardian blog “Animal Magic”. Click here to read about Gilbert Pidcock’s rhinceros.
If you are interested in buying The Georgian Menagerie you can download this discount flyer. When you purchase the book from the publisher, I.B. Tauris, you can buy the hardback for 14 pounds instead of 20 pounds. This special offer price will expire 1st October 2015.
Georgian Menagerie flyer [please download the pdf flyer with the discount code by clicking on this link]
The Georgian Menagerie cover.
I think that the designer did a really nice job. Such an appealing cover for the book. :)
The Georgian Menagerie cover.
Full steam ahead for publication next month!
The final proofs were sent to me this week, and I have just signed off on them.
The cover is very nicely designed and appealing – I’m looking forward to holding the completed book in my hands next month.
I’ll be posting in the near future about the book, related events, and short publications.
The image attached to this post is quite appropriate for The Georgian Menagerie, though sadly it is not included in the book. If you look carefully in the porch, you can see a green parrot in a brass cage. A touch of the exotic in this very English pastoral scene…
House on a Common, oil on canvas 1770-1780. Note the parrot cage hanging in the porch. Yale Center for British Art
Detail: Parrot cage in the porchway.
Study of an elephant by Sawrey Gilpin (Yale Center for British Art)
Sawrey Gilpin [marvellous name] (1733-1807), a London-based artist, sketched this elephant at some point in the eighteenth century.
Gilpin would have been able to see a living elephant fairly easily in Georgian London. He probably drew this study from life.
I am currently preparing the manuscript and images post-copyediting. Publication is drawing closer!
The young male elephant presented to King George and Queen Charlotte in September 1763.
I have been sourcing illustrations for “Georgian Menagerie” and was fortunate enough to come across a cheap 1763 bound volume of The Universal Museum or Gentleman’s and Ladies Polite Magazine. Inside is a wonderful engraving of the elephant presented to Queen Charlotte. The elephant plate is one of the few in the volume that has survived being cut out and sold separately by a bookseller.
This particular edition had a hidden treasure though, one that perhaps even the bookseller was unaware of. On the rear inside leaf, somebody at some time decided to make a doodle.
The doodle is of a bewigged man, with a rather substantial chin, in a smart coat. It looks as though thedoodler got bored with their human study and decided to draw a floral pattern instead.
Somebody got bored whilst reading “The Gentleman’s and Ladies Polite Magazine”. Doodling in an expensive bound volume doesn’t seem very polite!
I wonder if this really is an eighteenth-century doodle? It is done in what looks to be graphite, fairly widely available in the eighteenth century as a drawing material.
The floral pattern looks like it might have easily been an observation from a Georgian chintz fabric..
Or perhaps a later owner of the volume, in a flight of fancy, adorned the book with a pseudo-Georgian touch.
In any case, in the 251 years since the book was bound, my elephant survived a “culling” and was joined by a delightful doodle.
I recently recieved comments from the editor on my manuscript and will be making changes over the Christmas break. Not long before the book release in July.
So Christmas in the UK will be a few weeks spent writing and nipping into the British Library.
After the manuscript for “Georgian Menagerie” is completed, I’ll be doing some research for my next project; a short co-authored cultural history of the zebra.
Looking forward to Christmas cake, mince pies, and cups of tea galore as I get back down to writing again this Christmas break.