Pet Revolution: Animals and the Making of Modern British Life (Hardcover)

Pet Revolution: Animals and the Making of Modern British Life By Jane Hamlett, Julie-Marie Strange Cover Image
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A history of pets and their companions in Britain from the Victorians to today.
Pet Revolution tracks the British love affair with pets over the last two centuries. As pets have entered our homes and joined our families, they have radically changed our world. Historians Jane Hamlett and Julie-Marie Strange show how the pet economy exploded—increasing the availability of pet foods, medicines, and shops—and reshaped our modern lives in the process. A history of pets and their human companions, this book reimagines the “pet revolution” as one among many other revolutions—industrial, agricultural, and political—that made possible contemporary life.

About the Author

Jane Hamlett is professor of modern British history at Royal Holloway, University of London. Her books include Material Relations: Middle-Class Families and Domestic Interiors in England, 1850-1910.

Julie-Marie Strange is professor of modern British History at Durham University. Her books include The Invention of the Modern Dog: Breed and Blood in Victorian Britain.

Praise For…

"Hamlett and Strange state that their aim is to chart 200 years of pet-keeping in order to ‘understand how pets became so integral to the British and their homes’. In this richly detailed and enjoyable history, they have achieved their purpose."
— Daily Mail

"A magisterial book."
— BBC's Thinking Allowed

"From guard animals to becoming a beloved family member, animals have offered humans love and companionship for hundreds of years. Hamlett and Strange [chart] the evolution of pet ownership across the centuries."
— The Sunday Post

"The book describes the growth of pet foods and medicines, the rise of pet shops and the development of veterinary care creating the pet economy.”
— The Oldie

"In this well-researched and engagingly-written book, Jane Hamlett and Julie-Marie Strange demonstrate with much analytical flair how the ‘pet
revolution’ of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries transformed animal and human lives in modern Britain . . . Pet Revolution is a thought-provoking, accessible, and stimulating book that uses pet-keeping to explore social and cultural change in modern Britain. It is a welcome addition to animal history."
— Environment and History

"Pet Revolution provides a panoramic and yet detailed history of pet-keeping in Britain from the eighteenth-century to the present, drawing upon a multiplicity of academic perspectives: social, economic and colonial histories, animal ethics, and even, in some respects, affect theory. It deftly articulates a human perspective and a careful concern for animals, as well as economics and emotions, and sheds light on the inter- and intra-species power dynamics that regulate pet-keeping . . . This book will prove invaluable to both newcomers to the field and scholars more familiar with the history of pets."
— British Association for Victorian Studies

"From pet economics to pet cemeteries, this wonderfully engaging history explains the changing role of pets over two hundred years. It is as entertaining as it is informative, comprising charming stories and smart analysis."
— Claire Langhamer, Director of the Institute of Historical Research, London

"Pet Revolution chronicles the increasing integration of pets into British life in fresh and fascinating detail. It shows how the definition of 'pet' narrowed over the last two centuries, as pet ownership spread through all social classes and the status of non-human animals evolved. The broad range of sources and engaging illustrations document the intense commitment that pets (or animal companions, as they are sometimes termed currently) inspired in their humans."
— Harriet Ritvo, Arthur J. Conner Emeritus Professor of History, MIT

Product Details
ISBN: 9781789146868
ISBN-10: 1789146860
Publisher: Reaktion Books
Publication Date: March 1st, 2023
Pages: 256
Language: English