The Tower Menagerie: The Amazing 600-Year History of the Royal Collection of Wild and Ferocious Beasts Kept at the Tower of London

The Tower Menagerie The Amazing Year History of the Royal Collection of Wild and Ferocious Beasts Kept at the Tower of London The strange six hundred year history of the Royal Menagerie at the Tower of London From a polar bear who fished the Thames nightly for his dinner to elephants who drank only wine the inhabitants of t

  • Title: The Tower Menagerie: The Amazing 600-Year History of the Royal Collection of Wild and Ferocious Beasts Kept at the Tower of London
  • Author: Daniel Hahn
  • ISBN: 9781585423354
  • Page: 412
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The strange six hundred year history of the Royal Menagerie at the Tower of London From a polar bear who fished the Thames nightly for his dinner to elephants who drank only wine, the inhabitants of the southwest corner of the Tower of London were a strange and rowdy bunch No less strange was the cast of characters that visited them William Blake, Chaucer, and Samuel PThe strange six hundred year history of the Royal Menagerie at the Tower of London From a polar bear who fished the Thames nightly for his dinner to elephants who drank only wine, the inhabitants of the southwest corner of the Tower of London were a strange and rowdy bunch No less strange was the cast of characters that visited them William Blake, Chaucer, and Samuel Pepys, to name a few Daniel Hahn s fascinating history of the Tower of London s Royal Menagerie tells the story of the thousands of exotic creatures who found a home in one of the world s most forbidding and infamous fortresses The Royal Menagerie began with a wedding gift three leopards from King Henry III s new brother in law, Frederick the Holy Roman Emperor, in 1235 Soon after, a huge Norwegian polar bear joined them Over the next six hundred years, the Tower played host to lions, ostriches, elephants, and other unusual animals that astonished London Brimming with unforgettable stories the lion who kept a spaniel as a pet ostriches who were fed a steady diet of rusty nails lions who, their keepers claimed, could tell whether a woman was a virgin and beautiful historical illustrations, The Tower Menagerie provides an intriguing, lively survey of our changing attitudes toward animals, as well as a hugely entertaining journey through six centuries of British history.

    149 Comment

    • Shatterlings says:

      This is a jolly romp through history, lots of bizarre facts and anecdotes. Fair too many footnotes though.

    • Avery Delany says:

      Rating: 3.5 StarsThe Tower Menagerie is a really fun, easy read which looks at an interesting part of London's history which less widely known. I have lived in London my entire life and did not even know there had been a menagerie in the Tower of London until last year. Hanh's book provides an adequately in-depth historical account of the Tower Menagerie alongside lots of fun bits of trivia, such as the Polar Bear who used to be walked down to the Thames to catch his own fish every day, and lots [...]

    • Laura says:

      It is unusual to find such a comprehensive history of a single zoo (particularly one that existed for so long) and Hahn does a wonderful job of making an entertaining telling. I'm particularly enjoyed the constant references back to the polar bear who supposedly was walked with leash and muzzle to fish in the Thames on a daily basis. The little historical anecdotes (such as the annual "washing of the lyons" on April 1st) turn what probably began as dry lists and occasional diary entries into an [...]

    • Ryan Holiday says:

      An example of an author ruining an otherwise fascinating book by interrupting themselves with too many footnotes, parentheses and tangents. Aspiring writers will learn more from the style mistakes than the subject matter.That aside, The Tower Menagerie is illustrative and entertaining. There is a certain sense of glee that comes from books like that as the reader gets many of the benefits and fun that come with exotic animals without any of the danger. For instance, the polar bear that ate its b [...]

    • Rebekah May says:

      I read this about a year ago whilst researching for my dissertation. It was a concise and interesting history of the menagerie of the Tower of London. It was very helpful for me in that it mentioned the public opinion of the animals and how the tower presented the animals for the public. The writing didn't particularly make this subject as interesting and exciting as it could of, but it did the job. It was a useful resource for me and a small window into the menagerie I wish I could have seen.

    • Bookendsused Pefferly says:

      It was just OK. The premise is wonderful. I had no idea that the Tower of London housed a menagerie. It started off great. The image of a polar bear living on the banks of the Thames was quite colorful but it soon became repetitious and a real slog by the end. The writing was competent but not interesting enough for 200 plus pages.

    • Donna Jo Atwood says:

      This is a very easy to read look at 600 years of history and the animals held at the Menagerie in the Tower of London. Hahn goes off on some interesting tangents and sometimes tells us more than we really want to know (or once in a while send one racing to the internet to find out more about one of the tangents), but it is fun to read.

    • Andreacw says:

      The book reads like a novel. The random (and hilareous) anecdotes and sidebars pull you into the story and make you really think about the motivations and thought processes of your ancestors. Entertaining and educational. Doesn't get much better than that!

    • Jaclyn Goss says:

      Title sort of explains it all doesn't it? Well in case you are teetering (spelling?) on wether or not to read it, I am giving you the green light. This is a strange and wonderful book, that will also give you a small history lesson. Well worth your time!

    • Emily says:

      Super fascinating. A polar bear at the Tower? And much, much more.

    • NancyK. says:

      Wow, the things you find out about the Tower of London. Amazing,

    • Reba says:

      yawn.

    • Dovod says:

      Fairly passable pop history.

    • Claudia says:

      Lots of great trivia, very easy to read. Thanks to Donna Jo for lending it to me.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *