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The Arabian, one of the oldest pure breeds, was predominant in founding the thoroughbred, and there are few breeds today which do not contain Arab blood in varying degrees. This book traces the history and development of the breed from the desert to its worldwide role today.
How did animal breeding emerge as a movement? Who took part and for what reasons? How do the pedigree and market systems work? What light might the movement shed on the assumptions behind human eugenics? In Bred for Perfection, Margaret Derry provides the most comprehensive and accessible book yet published on the human quest to improve and develop livestock. Derry, herself a breeder and trained historian of science, explores the "triangle" of genetics, eugenics, and practical breeding, focusing on Shorthorn cattle, show dogs and working dogs, and one type of purebred horse, the Arabian. By examining specific breeders and the animals they produced, she illuminates the role of technology, genetics, culture, and economics in the system of purebred breeding. Bred for Perfection also provides the historical context in which this system arose, adding to our understanding of how domestication works and how our welfare—since the dawn of time—has been intertwined with the lives of animals.
Wilfred Scawen Blunt, 1840-1922, was one of England's true eccentrics: a wildly individual, larger-than-life personality who was as admired as he was disliked. A writer, poet, rebel, politician and explorer, his controversial life was in every sense a 'pilgrimage of passion'. He campaigned tirelessly for the independence of Egypt, India and Ireland (for which he was imprisoned) and, before marrying Byron's granddaughter, he travelled widely as a diplomat embarking on passionate love affairs and upsetting the Establishment - whether the British Empire or conventional morality. George Wyndham, Lord Curzon and Oscar Wilde were just some of the figures who attended Blunt's famous literary Crabbet Club and young Arabists like T.E. Lawrence and St John Philby regarded him as a prophet. During his lifetime, and for many years after, no anthology was complete without his poems. Based on Wilfrid Blunt's complete diaries and papers, Elizabeth Longford has produced a riveting biography of this most compelling man.
Before crude oil and the combustion engine, the industrialized world relied on a different kind of power - the power of the horse. Horses in Society is the story of horse production in the United States, Britain, and Canada at the height of the species' usefulness, the late nineteenth and early twentieth-century. Margaret E. Derry shows how horse breeding practices used during this period to heighten the value of the animals in the marketplace incorporated a intriguing cross section of influences, including Mendelism, eugenics, and Darwinism. Derry elucidates the increasingly complex horse world by looking at the international trade in army horses, the regulations put in place by different countries to enforce better horse breeding, and general aspects of the dynamics of the horse market. Because it is a story of how certain groups attempted to control the market for horses, by protecting their breeding activities or 'patenting' their work, Horses in Society provides valuable background information to the rapidly developing present-day problem of biological ownership. Derry's fascinating study is also a story of the evolution of animal medicine and humanitarian movements, and of international relations, particularly between Canada and the United States.
Lady Anne Blunt was a woman ahead of her time. After marrying the poet Wilfrid Scawen Blunt in 1869, the pair travelled extensively in the Middle East, developing an especial fondness for the region and its people. In this book, Lisa Lacy explores the life, travels and political ideas of Lady Anne. With a broad knowledge of the Arab world, she challenged prevailing assumptions and, as a result of her aristocratic heritage, exerted strong influence in British political circles. Her extensive journeys in the Mediterranean region, North Africa, Egypt, Arabia, Syria, Iraq and Persia formed the basis of her knowledge about the Middle East. She pursued an intimate knowledge of Bedouin life in Arabia, the town culture of Syria and Mesopotamia and the politics of nationalism in Egypt. Her husband, Wilfrid Scawen Blunt, gained a reputation as an anti-imperialist political activist. Lacy shows that Lady Anne was her husband’s partner in marriage, politics and travel and exerted strong influence not only on his ideas, but on the ideas of the British political elite of the era.

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