By Laurence W. Mazzeno, Ronald D. Morrison
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Extra resources for Animals in Victorian Literature and Culture: Contexts for Criticism (Palgrave Studies in Animals and Literature)
There were questions about what was a correct diet. From America, Bachman wrote to Lord Derby to give him advice about feeding ducks collected in distant lands: based upon a great many experiments made in the Carolinas he had learned that the best way to raise all young ducks was to give them animal food mixed with rice ﬂour. Occasionally, thinking that Lord Derby might know better than they, agents or dealers wrote to their patron to ask his advice about the best manner of treating or feeding a particular creature during a passage.
The small vulture is a young bird and has not his proper plumage as yet which is white, as he become older” (Letterbooks). The repeated references in the correspondence to the possible death of these animals and the recurring desire to get them to England alive reﬂect the terrible risks the animals and birds were subject to. Death was always expected. It was part of the cost of trading in animals. No matter what precautions were taken, there was little guarantee that a creature would arrive alive.
In 1835, at age 16, he began construction of his Marble Palace (completed in 1840). When the Zoological Gardens in Calcutta were set up in 1876, he donated many birds and animals from his personal collection. 11. For a fuller account of the practice and meaning of collecting skins, see Colley 2014. 12. Blyth was aware of the fact that Lord Derby did not require a tiger. In the same letter he wrote that he knows “your Lordship did not require Carnivores” but that he had sent a few, “thinking they would meet with a ready sale in England” (Tin Trunk).