Animal Tales at British Library


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The Animal Tales exhibition asks why animals have come to play such an important role in literature for adults and children alike with a variety of charming editions and manuscripts from the British Library's collections.

Set amongst silhouetted animals and a woodland scene, the exhibition explores the central role animals have played in traditional tales around the world, their importance to the development of children's literature and their use in allegories, from The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe to the first appearance of Art Spiegelman's Maus in the underground comic Funny Aminals.

In the centenary of Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis, it also looks at the literary transformations between human and beast, from Philip Pullman to Angela Carter.

On display will be Library treasures spanning centuries of history, from one of the earliest illustrated printed editions of Ovid to modern prize-winners of today such as Helen Macdonald's H is for Hawk.

Exhibition highlights include:

* One of the first children's picture books, Comenius' Orbis sensualium pictus (1659 edition)

* Gilbert White's The Natural history of Selborne and its antiquities, annotated by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, bound in colourful cotton dress fabric by Mrs Wordsworth and once owned by Romantic poet Robert Southey

* An eighteenth century woodblock edition of Wu Cheng’en’s Journey to the West

Venue Details & Map

British Library

96 Euston Road
+44 (0)20 7412 7332
Public transport:
Nearest mainline stations are Euston or King's Cross St. Pancras. Tube: Kings Cross (Northern, Victoria and Piccadilly lines) and Euston is within 150 yards walking distance.

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