The Zoo: The Wild and Wonderful Tale of the Founding of London Zoo (Paperback)Isobel Charman (author)
The creation of a zoo in Dickensian London - when only one other existed across the world - is a story of jaw-dropping audacity. It is the story of trailblazing scientists, rival zookeepers and aristocratic naturalists collecting amazing animals from all four corners of the globe.
It is the story of a weird and wonderful oasis in the heart of a swirling city, and of incredible characters, both human and animal.
From Stamford Raffles and Charles Darwin to Jenny the orang-utan and Obaysch the celebrity hippo, the first that anyone in Britain had ever seen. Against a background of global Empire, domestic reform and industrialisation, this is a new history of a new world.
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Number of pages: 368
Weight: 257 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 22 mm
"[A] vivid novelistic retelling . . . An impressive work of imagination and research, as well as a pleasure to read." - PD Smith, The Guardian
"She succeeds in personalising the story, bringing to life this extraordinary episode in humankind's search for a better understanding of the natural world." - Ian Critchley, Sunday Times
"Vivid, entertaining and scrupulously researched." - New York Times
"Fascinating ... nostalgia, social and natural history and the ongoing need to change." - Chris Packham
"What an incredible story ... a charming and lovely read ... a striking tale of discovery for the people involved and also for us ... you can give this book to anyone." - Jonathan Ross
The book's structure and style is that of a historical novel or Victorian melodrama...it would all make a wonderful seven-part historical costume drama -- Andrew Hartston * Daily Express *
Charman possesses a proper historian's nose for a story and this is a good one -- Sunday Express * John Lewis Stempel *
Charming ... provides a fascinating Zoo's Who of the Victorian naturalists and wildlife enthusiasts who established a 'Noah's Ark' in the heart of the rackety capital * Evening Standard *
[A] sprightly tale of the London Zoo from its conception in 1824 to the death of its longtime president in 1851. As The Zoo engagingly shows us, caring for and observing caged beasts transformed our view of animals-and of ourselves * Wall Street Journal *
Astonishing * Daily Mail *
Deeply moving, fascinating and powerful * Sunday Mirror on 'The Great War'
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