|Cruikshank, Bee Swarm|
One of the delights of Hone’s Every-Day Book is an entry like this one.
I was especially struck by the concluding paragraph. It’s all too easy to cite instances of animal cruelty during previous centuries. Horses, for instance, were worked to death. All the same, hundreds of years before PETA, it isn’t unusual to read expressions of concern like this—or see compassion for animals in prints.
Hogarth’s Cruelty is but one example. Henry Alken’s print series, The High-Mettled Racer, sympathetically follows the career of a race horse to his sad end, as does Charles Dibdin’s poem of the same name.
Pic Nic party disturbed by a Swarm of Bees, 1826, courtesy of The Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University.
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