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Medieval Pets (2021)

“Medieval Pets” by Kathleen Walker-Meikle

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.

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