By Louise E. Robbins

In 1775, a customer to Laurent Spinacuta's Grande Ménagerie on the annual wintry weather reasonable in Paris might have noticeable tigers, a number of varieties of monkeys, an armadillo, an ocelot, and a condor—in all, forty-two stay animals. In Elephant Slaves and Pampered Parrots, Louise Robbins explains that unique animals from all over the world have been universal in eighteenth-century Paris. within the streets of town, citizens and viewers may well notice acting elephants and a scuffling with polar undergo. these trying to find strange pets may buy parrots, flying squirrels, and capuchin monkeys. The royal menagerie at Versailles displayed lions, cranes, an elephant, a rhinoceros, and a zebra, which in 1760 grew to become an incredible courtroom attraction.

For Enlightenment-era Parisians, unique animals either piqued clinical interest and conveyed social prestige. Their availability used to be a boon for naturalists like Buffon, writer of the best-selling Histoire naturelle, who saw strange species in numerous destinations round the urban. Louis XVI observed his menagerie as a manifestation of his energy and funded its maintenance hence, whereas critics used the caged animals as metaphors of slavery and political oppression amidst the starting to be political turmoil. In her enticing and sometimes magnificent account, Robbins considers approximately each element of France's obsession with unique fauna, from the substantial literature on unique animals and the internal workings of the oiseleurs' (birdsellers') guild to how the animals have been transported, housed, and cared for. in accordance with wide-ranging and inventive examine, Elephant Slaves and Pampered Parrots stands as an immense contribution to the heritage of human-animal family, eighteenth-century tradition, and French colonialism.

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Elephant Slaves and Pampered Parrots: Exotic Animals in Eighteenth-Century Paris (Animals, History, Culture) by Louise E. Robbins


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