Zebra & Cultures of Natural History (+ a diary entry by Hester Thrale)

 

This blog hasn’t been updated in quite some time! The last few weeks have seen the (almost) end of a two writing projects:

1) A manuscript for Zebra was sent to the publisher.

2) A 6,000 essay on bird and animal merchants was sent to the editors of the forthcoming CUP collected volume Cultures of Natural History.

The first months of 2017 will, no doubt, be full of galley proofs and edits!

Raking through notes and re-reading primary sources again, as in the case of the chapter for Cultures of Natural History, sometimes leads to the (re)discovery of some sources. I wasn’t able to include this diary entry by Hester Thrale in either my thesis or Georgian Menagerie, so I was glad to get it in Cultures of Natural History:

“We drove homewards, taking in our way Brooke’s Menagerie, where I stopped to speak about my peafowl. Here Harry was happy again with a lion intended for a show who was remarkably tame, & a monkey so beautiful & gentle that I was as much pleased with him as the children.”

Extract from the journal of Hester Piozzi Thrale (1741-1821) published in Black, J., et al., The Broadview Anthology of British Literature: The Restoration and the Eighteenth Century (London, 2012), p. 949.

NPG 4942; Hester Lynch Piozzi (nÈe Salusbury; Mrs Thrale) by Unknown Italian artist

Hester Lynch Piozzi (née Salusbury, later Mrs Thrale)

by Unknown Italian artist
oil on canvas, 1785-1786
NPG 4942

The publication of my essay in Cultures of Natural History will also be the end of my work on exotic animals in eighteenth-century Britain. The original volume of Cultures, published in the 90s, was a much thumbed through and admired collected from my student days – so it is a strange and pleasant thing to be included in the volume. The project that started with a PhD application in 2006 will end in 2017!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About Dr Christopher Plumb

I am a cultural historian with an interest in exotic animals in eighteenth-century Britain. I recently wrote a book on the history of exotic animals in Georgian Britain. I am currently working on a cultural history of the zebra to be published in early 2018.
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