Punch,  41 (1861), 200.

The Triumphs of Owen by the Muse of the Museum (Slightly Altered from Gray)





Museums, Natural History, Zoology, Animal Behaviour, Government, Politics

    Opens by praising Richard Owen, implicitly in reference to the government's decision to relocate the natural history collections of the British Museum. The rest of the poem calls on the various species in the collections to prepare for the move, drawing attention to the stifling environment to which they have become accustomed. For example, it tells the 'Dusty, straddling, split giraffe, / You have stayed too long by half, / Go and take some nice fresh air / With that grim Polar bear', and later turns to 'Fossil Man' whom it advises to 'pack, / Take your slab, Sir, on your back', and 'All those myriad butterflies, / Pins and all, must please to rise'. Concludes by observing how 'Owen stands / Moulding Gladstone to his hands' and tells the animals in the collections that 'you'll have a Palace new, / Worthy Owen, us, and you'.

© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005 - 2020

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