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'From its very first word this book drew me in, made me cry and elicited understanding and unease ... This thoughtful, meticulously researched book begs to be read by animal studies scholars and anyone concerned about the plight of species other than ourselves.
--Carol Freeman, University of Tasmania, author of Paper Tiger: How Pictures Shaped the Thylacine
'John Simons is a skilful storyteller and Obaysch is a compelling read. Meticulously researched and generously illustrated, the book fulfils Simons' determination "to treat Obaysch as an actor in his own life" at the same time as exploring how this unfortunate hippo became "the most important animal of the Victorian era". The result is fine addition to the Animal Publics series, and a significant contribution to the emerging field of animal biograph
--Steve Baker, Emeritus Professor of Art History, University of Central Lancashire
'John Simons' richly exhaustive account of nineteenth-century
hippomania engages with imperialism, Orientalism, progress, and the cultural history of Europe ... Poignant and empathetic, this account of an animal's appropriation and exploitation is one of those books that unfurls more about its moment in time than you could have imagined when you picked it up.'
--Randy Malamud, Regents' Professor of English, Georgia State University, Atlanta, author of Reading Zoos: Representations of Animals and Captivity
'Simons' breadth of reference, his often witty commentary, and even his footnotes (what connection can there possibly be between the notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar and hippopotamuses?) make fascinating reading.'--Helen Tiffin, University of Wollongong, author of Wild Man from Borneo: A Cultural History of the Orangutan