Cover: The Animal Estate: The English and Other Creatures in Victorian England, from Harvard University PressCover: The Animal Estate in PAPERBACK

The Animal Estate

The English and Other Creatures in Victorian England

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Product Details


$38.50 • £30.95 • €34.50

ISBN 9780674037076

Publication Date: 01/01/1989


368 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches



The brilliance of Ritvo’s book, my favorite for 1987…[lies] in the particular examples that she has chosen to illustrate the institutional bonds of humans with other animals… She tells so many wonderful stories.—Stephen Jay Gould, The New York Review of Books

This is both an amusing and a valuable book… Harriet Ritvo is concerned primarily with the discussion, use, and display of animals as part of a rhetoric of human and class ascendancy. But the material presented here with impressive lucidity and control should interest virtually any reader. And the book is intriguingly and lavishly illustrated, mostly with engravings and woodcuts from sources ranging from Punch to natural histories, stockbreeders’ publications, newspapers and paintings… An important book for anyone with an interest in the sociology of animals, and in the more general social history that emerges from its beautifully presented wealth of detail.—Vicki Hearne, New York Times Book Review

The Animal Estate is about power. It offers an invigorating new interpretation of an era often characterized as sentimental in its attachment to animals by showing how the work of people and organizations concerned with animals invariably came to portray them as property… This interesting book definitely has a bite.The Times Higher Education Supplement

An unusual social history of Victorian England… Deftly written and generously illustrated, The Animal Estate details the spectrum of Victorian animal concerns: the antivivisection movement, the popularity of zoology, the hunt, the rabies panic (not unlike today’s pit bull hysteria), and more. The reader will come out with a fuller understanding of the Victorian people and the development of our bonds with animals.Animals

This is a remarkable book about how, in a uniquely exploitative age, animals became surrogates for human aspirations. Ritvo is not content with theoretical interpretation of human–animal interaction; she examines the attitudes of the people who actually had animals in their charge: pet owners, farmers, sportsmen, zoologists. It is a book of extraordinary timeliness.—Coral Lansbury, Rutgers University

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