Steve's Herpetological Blog

An insight into the life of Steve, his research and the many books he reads


#StevesLibrary: The Zoo

Most of those who follow me on some form of social media, you’ll know that I often post things with the #StevesLibrary hashtag to share books I have recently bought or those that I am currently reading. So I thought I’d start something new now that I’ve got my own personal blog up and running to finally start writing some book reviews. The first of these is going to cover ‘The Zoo: The Wild and Wonderful Tale of the Founding of London Zoo‘, a book that I started to read as soon as I bought it.

Having visited ZSL London Zoo a number of times and having a close working relationship with some of the many people that work there, this book truly opened my eyes to the brainchild of statesman Sir Stamford Raffles. A lot of hard work was put in to making the zoo successful with around 100,000 visitors being drawn to Regent’s Park in the first year. These numbers only rose and the book follows the stories around the success of the zoo through the eyes of seven very different people who helped make ZSL what it is. The book focuses on the first 25 years using a vivid novelistic style to retrace and retell stories such as the huge mortality rates of tropical animals caused by the bad British winters and the hard work Decimus Burton put in to design the buildings that would become synonymous with the zoo.

I would recommend this book to anyone who has a fond fascination with Victorian science or ZSL London Zoo. It is a very enjoyable read and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as much as I did!


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