Medieval Pets

October 2012
8 colour, 20 black and white illustrations
200 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Library eBook
Boydell Press
BIC HBLC1, 1D, 2AB, 3H
BISAC HIS037010, PET010000

Medieval Pets

Kathleen Walker-Meikle

eBook for Handhelds
An engaging and informative survey of medieval pet keeping which also examines their representation in art and literature.
Animals in the middle ages have often been discussed - but usually only as a source of food, as beasts of burden, or as aids for hunters. This book takes a completely different angle, showing that they were also beloved domestic companions to their human owners, whether they were dogs, cats, monkeys, squirrels, and parrots. It offers a full survey of pets and pet-keeping: from how they were acquired, kept, fed, exercised, and displayed, to the problems they could cause. It also examines the representation of pets and their owners in art and literature; the many charming illustrations offer further evidence for the bonds between humans and their pets, then as now. A wide range of sources, including chronicles, letters, sermons and poems, are used in what is both an authoritative and entertaining account.

Dr Kathleen Walker-Meikle is a Wellcome Trust Fellow at the University of York, working on animals and medieval medicine.

An e-book version of this title is available (9781782040408), to libraries through a number of trusted suppliers. See here for a full list of our partners.

Table of Contents

The Medieval Pet
Getting a pet
Pet welfare
Living with pets
Pets in iconography
Pets in literature


A delightful read for anyone interested in the history of pet-keeping, human-animal relations in general, and identity construction in later medieval Europe. MEDIEVAL ARCHAEOLOGY

A useful addition to a growing body of specialist literature, and in addition, anyone who has ever owned a pet will find it fascinating. REVIEWS IN HISTORY

A novel and comprehensive survey. [...] Not only a milestone in the history of our obsession with pets, but also furthers our understanding of the complexity of human-animal relations in the past. BBC HISTORY
An exceptional survey. MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW

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