The Tower Menagerie

The Tower Menagerie : The Amazing 600-Year History of the Royal Collection of Wild and Ferocious Beasts Kept at the Tower of London

3.34 (79 ratings by Goodreads)
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The Royal Menagerie at the Tower of London began with a wedding gift to England's King Henry III: three leopards from his new brother-in-law, Frederick, the Holy Roman Emperor. Soon afterward, these animals were joined by a huge Norwegian polar bear, who was encouraged to fish in the Thames for his nightly supper. Over the next six hundred years, the Tower played host to elephants, lions, ostriches, monkeys, zebras, alligators, a rhinoceros, a giraffe - and a very brave spaniel (kept by one of the Tower's lions as a pet). These inhabitants of the southwest corner of the Tower were a strange and rowdy bunch - and no less strange was the cast of characters who came to visit them. A young poet and artist by the name of William Blake traveled to the Tower from his Lambeth home to paint and rhapsodize about a Tower tiger and its "fearful symmetry"; a lion named Crowly received frequent visits from an enamored Samuel Pepys; and one visitor seen dropping in on the creatures of the Menagerie in 1389 was the man in charge of Tower upkeep during the reign of King Richard II, Geoffrey Chaucer.Daniel Hahn's history of the Royal Menagerie in the Tower of London tells the story of the many exotic creatures who found a home in one of the world's most forbidding and infamous fortresses, and explores the way in which the concept of animal captivity for the purposes of entertainment, enlightenment, and science evolved over hundreds of years.The Tower Menagerie provides survey of our changing attitudes toward animals, and a hugely entertaining journey through six centuries of British history.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 260 pages
  • 162 x 230 x 26mm | 557.93g
  • United States
  • English
  • Illustrations, unspecified
  • 1585423351
  • 9781585423354

Rating details

79 ratings
3.34 out of 5 stars
5 10% (8)
4 37% (29)
3 34% (27)
2 15% (12)
1 4% (3)
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