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Perceiving animals: humans and beasts in early modern english culture

Fudge, Erica (2000) Perceiving animals: humans and beasts in early modern english culture. MacMillan/St Martin's Press. ISBN 978-0-312-22572-8

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When the human understanding of beasts in the past is studied, what are revealed is not only the foundations of our own perception of animals, but humans contemplating their own status. This book argues that what is revealed in a wide range of writing from the early modern period is a recurring attempt to separate the human from the beast. Looking at the representation of the animal in the law, religious writings, literary representation, science and political ideas, what emerges is a sense of the fragility of humanity, a sense of a species which always requires an external addition--property, civilization, education--to be fully human.