This book is a history of nineteenth-century Dublin through human–animal relationships. The book offers a unique perspective on ordinary life in the Irish metropolis during a century of significant change and reform. The book argues that the exploitation of animals formed a key component of urban change, from municipal reform to class formation to the expansion of public health and policing. The book uses a social history approach but draws on a range of new and underused sources including archives of the humane society and the Zoological Society, popular songs, visual ephemera and diaries. The book moves chronologically from 1830 to 1900 with each chapter focused on specific animals and their relationship to urban changes. The first chapter examines the impact of Catholic emancipation and rising Catholic nationalism on the Zoological Society and the humane movement. The second chapter looks at how the Great Famine drove reformers to try to clearly separate the urban poor from animals. The third chapter considers the impact of the expanding cattle trade on the geography, infrastructure and living conditions of the city. The fourth chapter looks at how middle-class ideas about the control of animals entered the legal code and changed where and how pigs and dogs were kept in the city. The fifth and final chapter compares ideas of the city as modern or declining and how contrasting visions were associated with particular animals. The book will interest anyone fascinated by the history of cities, the history of Dublin or the history of Ireland.
Noah’s Ark appeared throughout the nineteenth century in various guises and for diverse purposes: as engineering problem, moral exemplar and divine covenant – even the original name for Hamley’s London toy-shop. Indeed, Noah’s Arks occupied a central role in nineteenth-century childhoods: their re-creation as painted wooden houseboats, lids lifting to reveal carved pairs of miniature animals, was for many children their first encounter with animals, history and biblical lore. Surviving museum objects and literary recollections attest to the potency of juvenile interactions with Noah’s Ark. For Household Words in 1850, it was an essential part of Christmas. For others, Noah’s Ark must be recast in progressive guise: in 1843, Albert Smith assumed they would soon receive a scientific makeover, in ‘the form of chemical-experiment boxes ... test-tubes and spirit lamps’. Stories, too, were inspired by these artefacts: Tom Hood’s humorous picaresque adventure around the world, From Nowhere to the North-Pole (1875), began with a child playing with a Noah’s Ark. This chapter explores Noah’s ‘Ark-aeology’ in the nineteenth century, as the tale was introduced, analysed and retold, constructed, marketed and played with, sought, sanctified and invoked, as a key part of the past packaged for children.
This book explores for the first time women’s leading roles in animal protection in nineteenth-century Britain. Victorian women founded pioneering bodies such as the Battersea Dogs’ Home, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, and the first anti-vivisection society. They intervened directly to stop abuses, promoted animal welfare, and schooled the young in humane values via the Band of Mercy movement. They also published literature that, through strongly argued polemic or through imaginative storytelling, notably in Anna Sewell’s Black Beauty, showed man’s unjustifiable cruelty to animals. In all these enterprises, they encountered opponents who sought to discredit and thwart their efforts by invoking age-old notions of female ‘sentimentality’ or ‘hysteria’, which supposedly needed to be checked by ‘masculine’ pragmatism, rationality and broadmindedness, especially where men’s field sports were concerned. To counter any public perception of extremism, conservative bodies such as the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for long excluded women from executive roles, despite their crucial importance as donors and grassroots activists. However, women’s growing opportunities for public work in philanthropic projects and the development of militant feminism, running in parallel with campaigns for the vote, gave them greater boldness in expressing their distinctive view of animal–human relations, in defiance of patriarchy. In analysing all these historic factors, the book unites feminist perspectives, especially constructions of gender, with the fast-developing field of animal–human history.
reflected other social and cultural shifts. 45 More recent work has sought to embed animals more directly into the historical narrative. Susan Nance, for example, has argued for historicising animals in the way that we do humans, rather than assuming animals never change. 46 She uses Thomas’s work to propose the idea of ‘animal modernity’, a specific period in history where the lives, experiences and bodies of animals have been changed by human action. 47 Nance has also suggested that writers of animalhistory should avoid ‘passive-voice or animals-as-objects prose
animals were peripheral
in eighteenth-or nineteenth-century London, but in reassessing the
relationship between animals and English society, previous studies have
overwhelmingly focused on issues of animal cruelty and the rise of humanitarianism. Their central aim has been to show, in contrast to Thomas’ view,
City of beasts
that ‘it was not philosophical distance from sites of cruelty, but painful
proximity to them which prompted Londoners’ protests’.16 While this
approach is valuable, the tendency to consider human–animalhistories as
narratives of abuse
for his aerial combat
group. The stork not only represented aerial prowess but was intended
to remind French fighter pilots of need to reclaim the lost provinces of
Alsace and Lorraine (storks were known to nest in the regions’ chimneys).32 But physical animal labour was more important than symbolism
as belligerent nations mobilized thousands of horses, mules, donkeys,
dogs, and pigeons to fulfil varied but essential roles. So although the
conflict’s technological and industrial aspects are well-known, its animalhistory deserves far more attention.33
Associating animals with urban success and failure, 1880–1900
attractions of ‘the city of broad streets, fine statues and noble edifices, the ancient stronghold of the Hibernian Danes, and the Irish metropolis for centuries’. 5
These different ways of describing or imagining Dublin reflected a struggle to agree on the form a modern city should take. Animalhistories have demonstrated that when the middle classes pursued urban improvement they tried to remove certain animals from cities. 6 By the close of the nineteenth century these animals still lived in Dublin. This chapter focuses on horses and cattle and argues that ideas about