From peacocks to penguins, a winged menagerie of surprise.
By Maria Popova
“How can the bird born of joy sit in a cage and sing?” wrote William Blake, who lived within the golden age of the cage for leisure. Zoos had been new and thrilling, and folks simply missed their cruelty to suppress their curiosity about creatures from distant lands. Yet zoos comprise solely a small portion of the animal kingdom’s dazzling selection – within the pre-photography period, earlier than handy journey all over the world, the common particular person encountered the wondrous strangeness of animals not within the cage however on the web page.
In the 1820s, a French pure historical past encyclopedia titled The Galerie de Oiseaux got down to convey North America’s most beautiful birds to European eyes, many now endangered, some extinct. The immaculate illustrations exude the quiet dignity of those vibrant emissaries of our planet’s evolutionary historical past – feathered heirs to the dinosaurs, winged with a kaleidoscope of pleasure.
Complete with some excellent historical illustrations of monkeys, owls, lizards, butterflies and flowers.