At the beginning of the Victorian era, London Zoo thrived as the premier resort of the metropolis. It attracted myriads of people from different walks of life, from urban promenaders to gentleman menagerists, from Indian shipbuilders to Persian princes, and included such leading figures of the day as Charles Darwin. This examination of the Zoo places it within the broader context of nineteenth-century Britain, looking at the politics of culture in the new public domain of museums and galleries, the professionalisation and popularisation of science in a new, consumer society, and how the growing urban population regarded the animals on display.
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