"An exceptionally interesting history of the animal protection movement . . . For the Love of Animals is exemplary in every respect."—The Washington Post Book World
In eighteenth-century England—where the abuse of animals was routine—the idea of animal protection was dismissed as laughably radical. But as pets became more common, human attitudes toward animals evolved steadily, and with the concentrated efforts of an unconventional duchess, a gentleman scientist, and an eccentric Scots barrister, the lives of beasts—and, correspondingly, men and women—began to change.
Kathryn Shevelow, an award-winning eighteenth-century scholar, gives us the dramatic story of the bold reformers (including Richard Martin, William Wilberforce, and Alexander Pope) who braved attacks because they sympathized with the plight of creatures everywhere. More than just a history, this is an eye-opening exploration into how our feelings toward animals reveal our ideas about ourselves, God, mercy, and nature. Accessible and lively, For the Love of Animals is a captivating cultural narrative that takes us into the lives of animals—and into the minds of humans—at a transforming moment in history.