Reckoning with the Beast: Animals, Pain, and Humanity in the Victorian

Publication Year

Drawing on examples from England and the United States, this book focuses on the nineteenth century as (i) a time when humans saw themselves as descended from beasts, (ii) there was a rising esteem for science, and (iii) an enhanced sensitivity about pain, dread of pain, and “instinctive” revulsion from the physical suffering of others. The shock of massive industrialization and urbanization combined with these three factors caused people to question the treatment of other animals.