Animal Companions: Pets and Social Change in Eighteenth-Century Britain

Hardcover | April 20, 2015

byIngrid H. Tague

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Animal Companions explores how eighteenth-century British society perceived pets and the ways in which conversation about them reflected and shaped broader cultural debates.

While Europeans kept pets long before the eighteenth century, many believed that doing so was at best frivolous and at worst downright dangerous. Ingrid Tague argues that for Britons of the eighteenth century, pets offered a unique way to articulate what it meant to be human and what society ought to look like. With the dawn of the Enlightenment and the end of the Malthusian cycle of dearth and famine that marked previous eras, England became the wealthiest nation in Europe, with a new understanding of religion, science, and non-European cultures and unprecedented access to consumer goods of all kinds. These transformations generated excitement and anxiety that were reflected in debates over the rights and wrongs of human-animal relationships.

Drawing on a broad array of sources, including natural histories, periodicals, visual and material culture, and the testimony of pet owners themselves, Animal Companions shows how pets became both increasingly visible indicators of spreading prosperity and catalysts for debates about the morality of the radically different society emerging in eighteenth-century Britain.

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From the Publisher

Animal Companions explores how eighteenth-century British society perceived pets and the ways in which conversation about them reflected and shaped broader cultural debates. While Europeans kept pets long before the eighteenth century, many believed that doing so was at best frivolous and at worst downright dangerous. Ingrid Tague argu...

Ingrid H. Tague is Associate Dean of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences and Associate Professor of History at the University of Denver.Ingrid H. Tague is Associate Dean of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences and Associate Professor of History at the University of Denver.

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Women of Quality: Accepting and Contesting Ideals of Femininity in England, 1690-1760
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Hardcover|Oct 31 2002

$131.87 online$146.50list price(save 9%)
Format:HardcoverDimensions:320 pages, 9.3 × 6.3 × 0.98 inPublished:April 20, 2015Publisher:Penn State University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0271065885

ISBN - 13:9780271065885

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Contents

List of Illustrations

Acknowledgments

Introduction

1. The Material Conditions of Pet Keeping

2. Domesticating the Exotic

3. Fashioning the Pet

4. A Privilege or a Right?

5. Pets and Their People

Epilogue

Notes

Bibliography

Index

Editorial Reviews

“Thanks to animal studies, the difference between ‘animal’ and ‘human’ is neither stable nor certain. Tague approaches this hierarchy from the human end of the spectrum, finding touching and significant ways in which human pet owners reified or challenged the animal-human relationship in the eighteenth century as pet keeping evolved from a proscribed to an approved cultural practice.”—Ann-Janine Morey, American Historical Review