Friday, January 11, 2019

Well, why not?

… “O Uommibatto”: How the Pre-Raphaelites Became Obsessed with the Wombat – The Public Domain Review. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Home’s wombat, a male, was in fact caught by George Bass, probably on King Island, where we know Bass and his companions shot several other specimens. Once provoked, this particular wombat put up a splendid struggle, tearing strips off Bass’s coat sleeves and making loud “whizzing” noises. Evidently he took ages to calm down. Bass kept him alive, looked after him well, and sent him to England. There, in London, he lived in what Home described as “a domesticated state for two years”. The following description is no less charming today than it must have been for English scientific readers nearly two centuries ago.

No comments:

Post a Comment