Punch's Dream of the Dead Season (Inspired by a Similar Transaction in Shakespeare)
Hunting, Natural History, Zoology, Monstrosities, Human Development, Exhibitions, Palaeontology, Geology, Animal Behaviour, Supernaturalism
Follows PU1/53/9/3 and consists of six stanzas, each one written from the perspective of the 'Ghost' of a zoological curiosity. In the first stanza, the 'Ghost of a Thames Salmon' rises from a tank in the Zoological Society Gardens, seeks publicity in the The Times, and wants Francis T Buckland to pickle him. In the second stanza, the 'Ghost of the Sea Serpent' grumbles that his body has been 'punched with deadly holes' from an Armstrong gun and hopes his tale will enrich those 'Yankees that prophesy and end of kinds'. In the third stanza, the 'Ghost of the Oldest Inhabitant' wants to read his heroic obituary in the Morning Post, while in the fourth, the 'Ghost of the Toad in the Coal' (an exhibit at the International Exhibition (1862)) wakes to describe how he was 'A senior at the Deluge' and wonders why he was woken from his happy resting place in a Yorkshire coal mine. In the fifth stanza, the 'Ghosts of two young Gorillas' rise and contemplate their cousins who died at the Zoological Society Gardens whilst being 'Soothed' by Paul B Du Chaillu. In the final stanza, the 'Ghosts of divers Luses Naturae' rise and explain that they will 'appear provincially tomorrow' in a range of exotic forms from 'Two-headed calves' to a 'shower of frogs'—each one apparently based on a true case of a monstrosity.
© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005 - 2020
Printed from Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical: An Electronic Index, v. 4.0, The Digital Humanities Institute <http://www.sciper.org> [accessed ]