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Jumbo The Unauthorised Biography of a Victorian Sensation by John Sutherland
  

Jumbo The Unauthorised Biography of a Victorian Sensation

Biography / Autobiography   The Real World   
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Sue Baker's view...

You only have to read the newspapers to know that elephants are in serious danger; huge numbers being killed for their ivory but from reading John Sutherland’s Jumbo we learn that tragedy and the elephant have long been linked. Jumbo was just one of too many elephants suffering at the hands of man and through Jumbo’s story we learn of other elephants, elephant facts and figures, everything the committed elephant lover will want to read.

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Synopsis

Jumbo The Unauthorised Biography of a Victorian Sensation by John Sutherland

The first comprehensive 'biography' of one of the first celebrity animals who gave us one of our favourite words. Jumbo, Victorian England's favourite elephant, was born in 1861 in French Sudan, imported to a Parisian zoo and later sold on to London, where - for seventeen years - he dutifully gave children rides and ate buns from their hands, all the while being tortured at night to keep him docile. Worldwide fame came when he was bought by the American showman and scam artist P.T. Barnum in 1881, despite letters from 100,000 British schoolchildren who wrote to Queen Victoria begging her to prevent the sale. Barnum went on to transform Jumbo into a lucrative circus act and one of the most loved animals of all time, establishing elephants as a regular feature of funhouses and menageries the world over. Using the heartwrenching story of Jumbo's celebrity life, tragic death in Canada in 1885, and his enduring cultural legacy, Jumbo is personal and fascinating reflection on our cultural elephantiasis by one of our most distinguished literary-critical detectives, which is guaranteed to amuse, stimulate, provoke and delight in equal measure.

Reviews

'It's a fascinating story, told stylishly and wittily.' - Bernard Porter Guardian


About the Author

John Sutherland has been a professor of literature for a long time and in many places. Currently he teaches at the California Institute of Technology and is the emeritus Lord Northcliffe Professor at UCL. He is the author of numerous books, including the puzzle-collection Is Heathcliff a Murderer? (probably, yes) and the encyclopedic Longman Companion to Victorian Fiction. In recent years he has written voluminously on a variety of literary and non-literary topics in, principally, the Guardian and the Financial Times.

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Book Info

Publication date

3rd July 2014

Author

John Sutherland

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Publisher

Aurum Press Ltd

Format

Paperback

Categories

Biography / Autobiography
The Real World


ISBN

9781781312452

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