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Obaysch: A Hippo in Victorian London

Obaysch: A Hippo in Victorian London
In 1850, a baby hippopotamus arrived in England, thought to be the first in Europe since the Roman Empire, and almost certainly the first in Britain since prehistoric times. Recommended in The Church Times books for summer 2019
Our Price: £20.00
ISBN/EAN: 9781743325865
Stock: 1
Publisher: Sydney University Press
Author: John Simons
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In 1850, a baby hippopotamus arrived in England, thought to be the first in Europe since the Roman Empire, and almost certainly the first in Britain since prehistoric times. Captured near an island in the White Nile, Obaysch was donated by the viceroy of Egypt in exchange for greyhounds and deerhounds. His arrival in London was greeted with a wave of hippomania, doubling the number of visitors to the Zoological Gardens almost overnight. Delving into the circumstances of Obayschs capture and exhibition, John Simons investigates the phenomenon of star animals in Victorian Britain against the backdrop of an expanding British Empire. He shows how the entangled aims of scientific exploration, commercial ambition, and imperial expansion shaped the treatment of exotic animals throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Along the way, he uncovers the strange and moving stories of Obaysch and the other hippos who joined him in Europe as the trade in zoo animals grew.
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