The zoo: the wild and wonderful tale of the founding of London Zoo.

The zoo: the wild and wonderful tale of the founding of London Zoo. Isobel Charman.

London: Penguin Books, 2016. Octavo, dustwrapper, text illustrations.

This book tells the story of how one man's mad mission became one of the best-loved places in the world. The creation of a zoo in Dickensian London, when only one other existed across the world, is a story of jaw-dropping audacity. It is the story of trailblazing scientists, rival zookeepers and aristocratic naturalists collecting amazing animals from all four corners of the globe. It is the story of a weird and wonderful oasis in the heart of a swirling city, and of incredible characters, both human and animal - from Stamford Raffles and Charles Darwin to Jenny the orang-utan and Obaysch the celebrity hippo, the first that anyone in Britain had ever seen. Against a background of global Empire, domestic reform and industrialisation, this is a new history of a new world.

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