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By Laurence W. Mazzeno, Ronald D. Morrison

This assortment contains twelve provocative essays from a various team of overseas students, who make the most of quite a number interdisciplinary methods to investigate “real” and “representational” animals that stand out as culturally major to Victorian literature and tradition. Essays specialise in quite a lot of canonical and non-canonical Victorian writers, together with Charles Dickens, Anthony Trollope, Anna Sewell, Emily Bronte, James Thomson, Christina Rossetti, and Richard Marsh, they usually specialize in a various array of types: fiction, poetry, journalism, and letters. those essays reflect on a variety of cultural attitudes and literary remedies of animals within the Victorian Age, together with the improvement of the animal safeguard move, the importation of animals from the increasing Empire, the acclimatization of British animals in different nations, and the issues linked to expanding puppy possession. the gathering additionally contains an creation co-written by way of the editors and recommendations for additional examine, and should turn out of curiosity to students and scholars around the a number of disciplines which include Animal reports.

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Additional info for Animals in Victorian Literature and Culture: Contexts for Criticism

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Not only is Mr Bovington exceedingly kind to his livestock—for example, he has made something of a pet of his favorite, a West Highland bull—but, in Dickens’s description, he also represents those advanced agriculturalists who “administered their food out of the scientific dietaries of Liebig; who had built their sheds after the manner of Huxtable; who had stalled and herded them in imitation of Pusey; who had littered them out of ‘Stevens’s Book of the Farm’ . . ” (Dickens and Wills 1850, 121).

In certain respects, the humane ideology articulated by Dickens and other writers in Household Words expresses many of the common elements that Harriet Ritvo (1987) argues are the underlying purposes in discussions of animals in the Victorian era: the policing of the lives of the poor, the enforcement of middle-class values, and the exploitation of the symbolic value of many animals to promote a sense of British superiority over its imperial rivals. But these articles, in turn, also challenge some key elements of humane ideology and use the specter of international competition and generalized fears of degeneration to argue for the relocation of Smithfield, while suggesting a more general reconsideration of the ways in which humans interacted with animals.

As I will demonstrate, through his dual roles as both writer and editor of Household Words, Dickens played an active role in the magazine’s rather substantial engagement with humane issues in the midVictorian era. I focus on a series of articles from the early 1850s that advocate for the relocation of London’s Smithfield Market from the old City to the suburbs. D. W. D. D. MORRISON under the general heading of “sanitary reform,” since his treatment of Smithfield includes dire warnings about contagious diseases spreading through London sewers because of the offal dumped from the slaughterhouses surrounding the market.

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