Books  Natural History  General Natural History 

Zarafa: The True Story of a Giraffe's Journey from the Plains of Africa to the Heart of Post-Napoleonic France

Out of Print

By: Michael Allin(Author)

215 pages, b/w illustrations, 2 maps

Headline Book Publishing

Hardback | Dec 1998 | #87926 | ISBN: 0747222991
Out of Print Details

About this book

Zarafa was the first living giraffe Europe had seen in 350 years and the first of her kind ever to arrive in France. Initially a politically motivated tribute to Charles X from Muhammad Ali, the Ottoman Viceroy of Egypt, this gentle animal soon became an adored celebrity in her own right and the embodiment of an era in French history rich in new scientific and cultural ideas.

After being captured and tamed in the Ethiopian highlands, Zarafa travelled 3,500 miles along the Blue Nile and the Nile and then accross the Mediterranean. After landing incognito outside the bustling French port of Marseille, Zarafa was carefully and lovingly walked the 550 miles to Paris, along which the entire French population became captivated by the `beautiful African'. In Paris, the king, enthralled by his long-awaited curiosity, put Zarafa on daily exhibition in le Jardin du Roi. She became the rage of the city, providing a subject for songs, poems and political satires and the inspiration for fashion.

Michael Allin's book is not only the enchanting story of the giraffe's epic journey, but is also a tale imbued with history, linking primitive Africa with post-Napoleonic France. Zarafa was a symbol of an age fascinated by progress and the unfamiliar, and an amazing creature that captured the hearts and imagination of men and women throughout Europe.

Write a review

There are currently no reviews for this book. Be the first to review this book!

Bestsellers in this subject

Arboreal: A Collection of New Woodland Writing

NHBS Price: £19.99 $26/€23 approx

The Moth Snowstorm

NHBS Price: £9.99 $13/€11 approx

Planet Earth II: A New World Revealed (Region 2 & 4 / B)

NHBS Price: £18.78 inc VAT $25/€21 approx

Earth to Earth

NHBS Special Offer Price: £12.99 £14.99 (Save £2.00) $17/€15 approx (ends 31/12/2018)

Bad Science

Clearance price: £5.99 £8.99 (Save £3.00) $8/€7 approx

VAT: GB 407 4846 44
NHBS Ltd is registered in England and Wales: 1875194