Thursday, November 30, 2017

The Pug Who Bit Napoleon by Mimi Matthews

book cover
The Pug Who Bit Napoleon
by Mimi Matthews

ISBN-13: 9781526705006
Paperback: 152 pages
Publisher: Pen & Sword
Released: Nov. 30, 2017

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description from NetGalley:
From elaborate Victorian cat funerals to a Regency era pony who took a ride in a hot air balloon, Mimi Matthews shares some of the quirkiest—and most poignant—animal tales of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Meet Fortune, the Pug who bit Napoleon on his wedding night, and Looty, the Pekingese sleeve dog who was presented to Queen Victoria after the 1860 sacking of the Summer Palace in Peking. The four-legged friends of Lord Byron, Emily Brontë, and Prince Albert also make an appearance, as do the treasured pets of Alexander Pope, Samuel Johnson, and Charles Dickens.

Less famous, but no less fascinating, are the animals that were the subject of historical lawsuits, scandals, and public curiosity. There’s Tuppy, the purloined pet donkey; Biddy, the regimental chicken; and Barnaby and Burgho, the bloodhounds hired to hunt Jack the Ripper. Wild animals also get a mention in tales that encompass everything from field mice and foxes to alligators and sharks lurking in the Thames.

Using research from eighteenth and nineteenth century books, letters, and newspapers, Mimi Matthews brings each animal’s unique history to vivid life. The details are sometimes humorous, sometimes heartbreaking, but the stories are never anything less than fascinating reading for animal lovers of all ages.

My Review:
The Pug Who Bit Napoleon is a collection of animal stories from the 1700s & 1800s. The author went back to the original sources of the stories (letters, newspaper and magazine articles, and poems) and included quotes from those sources. Many of the stories were about favorite pets owned by famous people.

There were 9 dog stories (including stories about animals grieving the death of their person), 4 cat chapters (including information about the first cat show in England and pet funerals), a chapter each on horses, a pony, a donkey, a famous goat, a monkey and a parrot, two ravens, two military hens, an inspiring wild field mouse, pet rabbits, several shark sightings in the Thames, an "alligator" in the Thames, two foxes as pets (bad idea), and flea circuses. There were also pictures of the animal (in the case of famous pets) or of animals like the one described. The book is a quick, fun read. I'd recommend this enjoyable book to fans of animal stories.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

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