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The Victorian Pet

Victorians loved their pets - and many an article explained how to take proper care of them. What might seem odd to readers today is the number of wild birds that were considered appropriate to keep as caged songbirds in Victorian times! (In fact, defining "pet" isn't that simple - so in these pages, it's any animal that was kept within the home!)

I've added such topics as beekeeping and raising poultry to this section, as these activities were often more "hobbies" (and more closely related to keeping domestic animals) than a form of "farming."

See Animals for information on animals in the wild.


DOGS & CATS

An Extinct Disease, by Anne Beale (GOP 1902)
An excerpt from the diary of Anne Beale (a regular contributor to GOP) concerning an outbreak of rabies in Wales in 1850.
Our Four-Footed Friends: Dogs, by Gordon Stables, M.D., R.N. (GOP 1884)
Our Mutual Friend, Puss, by Gordon Stables, M.D., R.N. (GOP 1881)
Pet Dogs, and How to Train Them (GOP 1901)
The Tree-Kittens, by Eliza Brightwen (GOP 1896)
This article is signed "E.B." - so I'm guessing it's by Mrs. Brightwen (since, unlike most ladies who might adopt a trio of kittens, this author also possessed a mongoose...)
Unintentional Cruelties, by Gordon Stables, M.D., R.N. (GOP 1884)
Tips on proper pet care.

BIRDS

Canaries: Their Rearing and Management (GOP 1898)
A Clever Raven (GOP 1880)
Doves' Down, or, Pigeon Life, by Emma Brewer (GOP 1890)
An interesting series on doves and pigeons, including an article on the passenger pigeon, which was still quite common in Britain!
Girls' Own Pets, by Gordon Stables, M.D., R.N. (GOP 1882-1883)
How to choose and care for pet birds.
How to Select and Manage Singing Birds (GOP 1881)
The Introduction of the Canary into Europe (GOP 1894)
Peacocks, by Richard Gurney (GOP 1897)
Talking Birds, by A.T. Elwes (GOP 1892)
Tame Doves, by Eliza Brightwen (GOP 1895)

HORSES, DONKEYS, GOATS & MORE

Our Four-Footed Friends: Donkeys and Goats by Gordon Stables, M.D., R.N. (GOP 1884)
The Goat as a Pet for Girls, by Bryan Hook (GOP 1896)
Horses: What All Girls Should Know About Them (GOP 1884)
My Donkey Chair, by Emily Tregelles Cook (GOP 1897)
The cost and maintenance of a small donkey cart.

OTHER PETS

Lemurs, by Eliza Brightwen (GOP 1894)
On a pair owned by the author, and the habits of lemurs in the wild.
Mungo: A Study, by Eliza Brightwen (GOP 1895)
About the author's inquisitive mongoose.

DOMESTIC LIVESTOCK

POULTRY
Artificial Hatching, by A. Lockart (GOP 1891)
Eggs and Chickens in Midwinter, by Theo (GOP 1890)
How to Rear Fowls (GOP 1881)
Tips on raising poultry for hobby, home use or profit.
Pheasants (GOP 1889)
Tips on rearing pheasants.
Pheasants and Their Maladies, by La Baronne H. de Boerio (GOP 1890)
Poultry Keeping: A Recreation and Source of Income for Girls, by Theo (GOP 1889)
Profitable Duck-Keeping, by T. Wilson-Wilson (GOP 1897)

BEE-KEEPING
A Girl's Own Apiary (GOP 1890)
"Some...speak as if a large fortune may be speedily realised by any one who chooses to devote her time to apiculture. This I believe is a mistake... yet for several years past my bees have brought me in a very nice addition to my dress allowance, and have been an unfailing source of interest and pleasure."
The Pleasures of Beekeeping, by F.W.L. Sladen (GOP 1899)

Copyright © 2017 by
Moira Allen.
All rights reserved.

Magazine Abbreviations:
CFM = Cassell's Family Magazine GOP = Girl's Own Paper ILA = Illustrated London Almanack S = The Strand
AM = Atlantic Monthly C = Century Magazine D = Demorest's Monthly Magazine G = Godey's Lady's Book H = Harper's Monthly
Find out more about the magazines used on this site!
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