|thanks vintageprintable (PD)|
Samuel Pepys, the English diarist, had a pet eagle. It "fouled the house mightily," so he handed it off to someone else. Anne Boleyn was given a monkey and didn't like it one bit. George IV fed his adored giraffe milk, not knowing any better; the poor creature died, of course. These anecdotes and more are given in the course of scholar Caroline Grigson's new book, "Menagerie: The History of Exotic Animals in England" (Oxford Press). What drove this need for strange and rare creatures to be captured and shipped to a country where hardly anyone could guess how they needed to live? I've found a couple of excellent book reviews that you'll enjoy reading:
The Guardian's review here.
The London Review of Books review here.