Simmonds, P. L.

The Animal Food Resources of Different Nations

  • First and only edition of this remarkable work on animals eaten around the world, including domestic, wild, and exotic species, and even cannibalism among humans. In addition to detailed information and statistics on the usual domestic and game animals, there are passages on the preparation and flavour of a staggering number of exotic creatures based on travelers' tales and newspaper accounts. Among the stranger beasts encountered in these pages are the sloth, armadillo, giraffe, possum, porcupine, lemur, buzzard, tapir, rhinoceros, flying squirrel, hippopotamus, the eggs of reptiles and insects, and even beetles and slugs. Many of the animals discussed are now extinct or endangered, and the book includes a section on hunting  and preparing the North American passenger pigeon, perhaps the ultimate symbol of human gluttony today. A wonderful and uncommon resource, not only on late-19th century agribusiness, but also on Victorian attitudes toward animals, food, and foreign cultures.

    Author Peter Lund Simmonds (1814-1897) was a journalist and editor with interests in statistics, trade, colonialism, and science, who "contributed to an enormous range of publications on a wide variety of subjects... After the Great Exhibition of 1851 Simmonds was engaged to help with the display in South Kensington of ‘trade products and objects of natural history’ sponsored by the Royal Society of Arts, of which he became a member in 1853. Subsequently he delivered nineteen major papers and published thirty-three substantial articles in the society's Journal, was made an honorary life member in 1862, and three times received the society's silver medal" (ODNB). Among Simmonds's other books were works on colonial administration and trade and a volume on recycling that was far ahead of its time.

  • ... with Mention of Some of the Special Dainties of Various People Derived from the Animal Kingdom. London: E. & F. N. Spon, 1885. Octavo. Original black cloth, titles to spine gilt, brown coated endpapers. 1 page list of author's other works and 20-page publisher's ads (dated 1885) at rear. A couple of small, contemporary marginal annotations. Cloth a little rubbed and marked with wear at the corners and ends of spine, short closed tear to the half title at the gutter. A very good copy.

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