Victorians at Play: In the World of Animals

Ref: C2346993

The lecture will focus on how and why animals featured so prominently in Victorian leisure activities, from traditional upper class pursuits such as hunting, shooting and fishing through to the 'underground' world of dog-fighting and animal-baiting. In between these extremes, annual horse races attracted spectators across the social classes - so among the questions we should ask is why some social reformers tried so hard to abolish them? Barring the occasional escaped lion, tiger or elephant, zoos, circuses and travelling menageries offered opportunities to view 'exotic' animals from a safe distance - but how far did they also reflect Victorian curiosity about the natural world, and the scientific enquiry that it prompted? How did they - and Victorian museums - actually acquire their 'specimens' for display? We will also ask why pigeon racing and the keeping of animals as households pets became so popular in the later 19th century - and take a brief look at the world of taxidermy.

Course aim

The lecture will focus on how and why animals featured so prominently in Victorian leisure activities, from traditional upper class pursuits such as hunting, shooting and fishing, to zoos and menageries, and the keeping of households pets.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Account for the popularity of zoos and travelling menageries during the Victorian period.

How will I be taught?

What kind of feedback can I expect?

What else do I need to know?

Your lecture will be delivered in a ‘traditional’ talk-to-camera style, but there will be opportunities to ask questions and engage in discussion at the end. Slide-show images will be used to illustrate key points, and a short summary of the lecture will be posted to Canvas soon after the event.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

What can I do next?

View full course information sheet

Victorians at Play: In the World of Animals

Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2021
  • You declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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