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Fantastic Beasts in the Great Indoors: Taxidermy, Animal Capital and the Domestic Interior in Britain, 1851-1921

Jones, Karen R. (2021) Fantastic Beasts in the Great Indoors: Taxidermy, Animal Capital and the Domestic Interior in Britain, 1851-1921. Home Cultures, . Article Number RFHC 19636. ISSN 1740-6315. (doi:10.1080/17406315.2021.1963609) (KAR id:89599)

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This article explores taxidermy as an interesting example of human-animal relations through a study of its incorporation into the later nineteenth and early twentieth century domestic interior. Occupying a liminal space that speaks to life and to death, often posed within an operational aesthetic of wildness, yet firmly captured in domestic confines, taxidermy offers valuable insight into how the geography of home depicted the dynamics of empire, gender and consumption, as well as cogitating on the the animal as a scientific and artistic presence. Usefully building on John Berger’s contention that urban industrialism encouraged both the disappearance and the multiplication of animals in human life, this study highlights the way in which a decorative paradox of dead wild things found a place in the British home in the form of naturalist mounts, hunting trophies and other consumer items. Approached as engineered artefacts of animal capital, the fantastic beasts of ‘the great indoors’ exemplify the convoluted (and often contradictory) relations between humans and other species in the modern world.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/17406315.2021.1963609
Uncontrolled keywords: Taxidermy, home, hunting, animals, nature, British history, empire, gender
Subjects: D History General and Old World
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of History
Signature Themes: Food Systems, Natural Resources and Environment
Depositing User: Karen Jones
Date Deposited: 03 Aug 2021 13:36 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2023 13:09 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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