Amazing Dogs: A Cabinet of Canine Curiosities

Amazing Dogs: A Cabinet of Canine Curiosities

By: Jan Bondeson (author)Hardback

1 - 2 weeks availability


AMAZING DOGS tells the stories of some of the most extraordinary dogs in history. In the 1750s, the Learned English Dog was a sensation in London: this spelling and calculating Border collie was even thought to be a reincarnation of Pythagoras. The acting Newfoundland dog Carlo, active in London from 1803 until 1811, had plays specially written for him, involving tackling villains, liberating prisoners, and diving into artificial lakes on stage to save drowning children. Don the Speaking Dog, toured the world barking out words like 'Hungry! Give me cakes!' and had particular success in new York. Some of history's amazing dogs belonged to the canine proletariat: turnspit dogs ceaselessly running inside wheels to turn the roast meat, and terriers put into rat-pits, with bets laid on the number of rats killed. The champion terrier Billy killed 100 rats in five and a half minutes in 1823, a record which stood until 1863, when it was beaten by Jacko, another champion rat-killer. Another forgotten chapter in canine history are the once-famous dog collecting for charity in London's railway stations, with boxes attached to their backs. Lord Byron's rowdy Newfoundland dog Boatswain belonged to the opposite end of the canine social spectrum, as did the super-rich dogs inheriting money from their wealthy and eccentric owners. The book suitably ends with a chapter on dog cemeteries and dog ghosts.

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About Author

Jan Bondeson is a senior lecturer and consultant rheumatologist at Cardiff University. His many critically acclaimed books include ANIMAL FREAKS ('Delightful' ALI SMITH, 'Animal magic' TLS), FREAKS: THE PIG-FACED LADY OF MANCHESTER SQUARE & OTHER MEDICAL MARVELS ('Bizarre' THE MAIL ON SUNDAY, 'Well written and superbly illustrated' THE FINANCIAL TIMES), CABINET OF MEDICAL CURIOSITIES, THE LONDON MONSTER ('Gripping... an 18th-century detective story of the most piquant kind' THE GUARDIAN) and the best-selling BURIED ALIVE: THE TERRIFYING HISTORY OF OUR MOST PRIMAL FEAR ('A little masterpiece of social history' THE MAIL ON SUNDAY, 'A wonderful book' THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH). He lives in Newport in Wales.


1. Introduction 2. The Great Munito & the Learned English Dog 3. Some Canine Intellectuals 4. Some Celebrated Talking Dogs 5. Doggy Drama: Some Celebrated Canine Thespians 6. Railway Jack, Owney, & Some Other Canine Globetrotters 7. Some Canine Philanthropists 8. Guinefort the Dog Saint & Some Other Holy Dogs 9. Greyfriars Bobby & Some Other Faithful Dogs 10. The Turnspit Dog & Some Other Extinct Breeds 11. Lord Byron's Boatswain & Some Other Remarkable Newfoundland Dogs 12. The Great Barry & Some Other Curious Saint Bernard Dogs 13. Annals of the Rat-Pits of London & New York 14. The Brown Dog Riots 15. Dog Cemeteries, Dog Ghosts & Some Last Words Notes List of Illustrations Index

Product Details

  • publication date: 01/02/2011
  • ISBN13: 9781848689466
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 320
  • ID: 9781848689466
  • ISBN10: 1848689462

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  • 1st Class Delivery: Yes
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