Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-vi

Table of Contents

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pp. vii-viii

List of Illustrations

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pp. ix-xii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xiii-xvi

Writing can often feel like a lonely and isolated process—until we remember how many people have helped us through the loneliness and isolation. In the years it has taken to produce this book, I have acquired many debts. The time and money to research and write are precious, and I am grateful to the University of Denver for both, in the form of two sabbaticals, a Faculty Research Fund grant, and a Professional Research Opportunities for Faculty grant. I have also drawn on divisional and departmental financial support. Much more important, I have been lucky to have enormously supportive colleagues. During most of the time that I...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-13

In a cemetery in Hartsdale, New York, sits a monument to three beloved family members who died in the 1970s. All three were in their early teens, and the inscription on their common headstone speaks of the grief of their “Mommy” and “Daddy.” But these were not three human children; they were dogs named Lynett, Bizet, and Chou-Chou, and they lie interred in America’s oldest pet cemetery. The cemetery, which was founded in 1896 (and officially incorporated in 1914), now contains close to eighty thousand pets, mostly dogs and cats, and is still in active use today.1 The inscription for Lynett and her “siblings” is typical: “Here sleep...

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Chapter 1: The Material Conditions of Pet Keeping

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pp. 14-49

Among the many consumer delights offered in eighteenth-century London were millinery, china, furniture, plays, prints, and books—ornaments for the body, home, and mind. But the city also offered an expanding array of living consumer goods in the form of nonhuman animals. Vendors catered to aristocrats hoping to add new exotic animals to their menageries, gentry women looking for birds with festive plumage for their poultry yards, and men seeking hunting or guard dogs. They also offered pets, creatures intended for no other purpose than pleasure. Shops like the one “at the Sign of the Parrot” advertised just such a variety:...

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Chapter 2 Domesticating the Exotic

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pp. 50-90

In September 1738, the Gentleman’s Magazine announced the arrival of a female chimpanzee that would become one of the most famous of the many exotic animals displayed in Britain in the eighteenth century.

A strange Creature taken in a Wood in Guinea, is brought to Town; ’tis a Female, about four Foot high, shaped in every Part like a Woman, except its Head which nearly resembles that of an Ape! She walks upright naturally, sits down to her Food, which is chiefly...

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Chapter 3: Fashioning the Pet

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pp. 91-137

In 1786, James Wicksteed published a print entitled Animated Nature, or Lady en Famille (fig. 11). The print shows a young woman dressed in an exaggerated version of the high fashion of the day: a large hat with ostrich plumes, an enormous muff, and a “cork rump” artificially extending her rear. Were this the only content, the image would be unremarkable; satires on fashionable dress were especially common in the 1770s and 1780s. But this woman is not only wearing fashionable clothes; she is also literally wearing her pets. A lapdog sits on the muff, gazing with interest at a...

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Chapter 4: A Privilege or a Right?

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pp. 138-173

In Liberal Opinions, Upon Animals, Man, and Providence, his collection of sentimental fiction and poetry, Samuel Jackson Pratt included a half-serious greeting to a newly acquired lapdog. The note draws on many of the associations between lapdogs and femininity, as Pratt both welcomes and cautions the animal about its new station in life. But it also moves beyond those associations to engage with concerns about the effects of comfort and “luxury”:...

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Chapter 5: Pets and Their People

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pp. 174-228

In December 1712, Lady Isabella Wentworth suffered a devastating tragedy when Pug, her pet monkey, died. Lady Wentworth was heartbroken. Pug had been a part of her household for more than seven years1 and was a favorite among the large collection of animals with whom she shared her residence. In a letter to her son Thomas, she wrote that Pug was “the darling of . . . all” her pets, and she admitted, “God forgive me, there is...

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Epilogue

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pp. 229-234

The growing acceptance of pet keeping did not mean that conditions for animals improved greatly over the course of the eighteenth century. Casual violence against animals continued (even Walpole beat his dogs), and many people still believed that nonhuman creation had value only insofar as it was useful to humans. Arguments for humane treatment of animals encountered as much mockery as they did support.1 It was not until 1822 that the first, very restricted, legislation against cruelty to animals was passed. Where it did exist, compassion for animals was often...

Notes

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pp. 235-268

Bibliography

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pp. 269-282

Index

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pp. 283-299

Back Cover

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