Reading Literary Animals : Medieval to Modern book cover
1st Edition

Reading Literary Animals
Medieval to Modern

ISBN 9781138093850
Published September 11, 2019 by Routledge
302 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Reading Literary Animals explores the status and representation of animals in literature from the Middle Ages to the present day. Essays by leading scholars in the field examine various figurative, agential, imaginative, ethical, and affective aspects of literary encounters with animality, showing how practices of close reading provoke new ways of thinking about animals and the texts in which they appear. Through investigations of works by Shakespeare, Aphra Behn, William Wordsworth, Charles Dickens, Virginia Woolf, and Ted Hughes, among many others, Reading Literary Animals demonstrates the value of distinctively literary animal studies.

Table of Contents



Karen L. Edwards, Derek Ryan, Jane Spencer
Part I Testing Metaphor
1. Entities in the World: Intertextuality in Medieval Bestiaries and Fables
Carolynn Van Dyke

2. Una’s ‘Milkewhite Lambe’
Karen L. Edwards

3. Behn’s Beasts: Aesop’s Fables and Surinam’s Wildlife in Oroonoko
Jane Spencer


Part II Plotting Agency
4. Shakespeare’s Animal Parts
Philip Armstrong

5. Exit Pursuing a Human: Performing Animals on the Early Modern Stage
Andy Kesson  

6. Collaborative Agency: Animals in Hardy’s Rural Novels
Virginia Richter


Part III Inscribing Voice
7. Counting Animals: Nonhuman Voices in Lear and Carroll
Kaori Nagai

8. ‘What am I?’: Locating the Indeterminate Voices of Ted Hughes’s Animal Poems
Carrie Smith

9. "Thou, Spotted Eros": Love Poetry, Taxonomy, and the Erotics of Adamic Naming
Matthew Margini

Part IV Exploiting Bodies
10. The Hunting of the Hare: Female Virtue and Companionate Marriage in Henry Fielding’s Joseph Andrews and Tom Jones
Adela Ramos

11. "Filth and Fat and Blood and Foam": Animal Capital, Commodified Meat, and the "Human" in Great Expectations
Jennifer McDonell

12. Fiction, Fashion, and the Victorian Fur Seal Hunt
John Miller

Part V Loving Dogs
13. Animal Intimacies: Cross-Species Affect and the Lapdog Lyric
Laura Brown

14. Anthropomorphism, Personification and Humanization in William Wordsworth’s Dog Poems
James P. Carson

15. "Was it Flush, or was it Pan?": Virginia Woolf, Ethel Smyth, and Canine Biography
Derek Ryan

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Karen L. Edwards is Professor of English at the University of Exeter, UK.

Derek Ryan is Senior Lecturer in Modernist Literature at the University of Kent, UK.

Jane Spencer is Professor of English at the University of Exeter, UK.