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Animals: Victorian Studies of Wildlife

Magazines often ran "nature" articles to acquaint readers with animals they might otherwise never encounter - just as magazines do today. Such articles often displayed a somewhat romantic Victorian view of wildlife, but not always - note the article on where "Our Furs" come from!

See Pets for information on the Victorian pet (including "wild" animals that found a place in the home).


The Brook and Its Banks, by the Rev. J.G. Wood (GOP 1887)
This series covers a wide range of topics, including the water-rat, water-vole, pike, heron, and many other denizens of the brook and its banks.
The Debt We Owe to Birds and Beasts, by Gordon R. Stables (GOP 1889)
"Now while cheerfully admitting that there is an increase in acts of kindness to animals in our day...we cannot shut our eyes to the fact that there is also a vast amount of thoughtless and destructive cruelty, coupled with thoughtless extravagance in the use of Nature's gifts and bounties... We are eating our cake, and our posterity of a few centuries hence will have to cry because we have left none for them."
Lessons from Nature, by Jean Owen (GOP 1899)
An article that combines religious morals with natural history - interesting for a number of intriguing tidbits of animal lore.
The Romance of Nature, by James Mason (GOP 1889)
The subtitle says it all: "Or, the Folklore of Animals, Plants, Earth, Air, Sea and Sky."


"Asnapper," The Brown Owl, by Eliza Brightwen (GOP 1895)
A personal account of a friendly owl.
Bird Life... by A Naturalist (GOP 1889)
A monthly guide to Britain's birds.
The Blackbird, by Harrison Weir (GOP 1880)
Doves' Down, or, Pigeon Life, by Emma Brewer (GOP 1890)
An interesting series on doves and pigeons, including an article on the passenger pigeon, which was still quite common in Britain!
How to Help the Poor Birds in Winter, by the Rev. Augustus Jessopp (GOP 1893)
Laughing Jackasses, by Richard Gurney (GOP 1897)
A look at the Australian Kookaburra.
Our Birds (GOP 1892)
Wonderful Birds, by Frederick Whymper (GOP 1884)
A look at some exotic birds and nests.


Coati-Mondis, by Richard Gurney (GOP 1896)
Our Beautiful Furs and Where They Come From, by A.T. Elwes (GOP 1898)
A bit of an odd article to put under "nature" -- as it's about the animals from which fashion furs are taken!
Our Wild Creatures, by A Naturalist (GOP 1890)
A series covering the badger; the bat; the red deer; the fox; hares and rabbits; the marten; moles and hedgehogs; the otter in winter; polecats, stoats and weasels; rats and mice; squirrels and dormice; and the wild cat.


Butterflies, Moths, and Other Strange Insects at the Zoo, by Fred Miller (GOP 1896)
Lavishly illustrated article.
Nature's Mimics, by Agnes Giberne (GOP 1897)
Primarily about mimicry and camouflage amongst insects.
Snakes, Toads, and Other Alarming Creatures, by Darley Dale (GOP 1890)
Worth reading just for the introductory paragraphs on how "city girls from London" react to encountering such creatures (alive or dead!) when strolling in the countryside.
The "Spinster," by S.F.A. Caulfield (GOP 1888)
Notes on spiders.
The Study of Butterflies, by Fred Miller (GOP 1896)
Wonderful Fish, by Frederick Whymper (GOP 1884)
Exotic specimens of the deep.
Wonderful Reptiles, by Frederick Whymper (GOP 1884)

Copyright © 2018 by
Moira Allen.
All rights reserved.

Magazine Abbreviations:
CFM = Cassell's Family Magazine GOP = Girl's Own Paper ILA = Illustrated London Almanack S = The Strand
AM = Atlantic Monthly C = Century Magazine D = Demorest's Monthly Magazine G = Godey's Lady's Book H = Harper's Monthly
Find out more about the magazines used on this site!
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