This broadside begins: 'OLD TOWN ZOOLOGICAL / SECOND ATTACK OF THE Wild Beasts upon their Keeper IN THE ROYAL CIVIC ARENA, ROYAL EXCHANGE, EDINBURGH: Showing how the Animals Fought and how their Keeper Defended himself.' No publication details have been included on this sheet.
The National Library of Scotland's broadside collection also includes the broadside which preceded this one. It details the initial attack on the keeper by the horde of wild beasts. Whilst both appear to recount a rather strange zoological encounter, in reality they offer an insight into the political posturing that was going on in Edinburgh, and the rest of the country, at this time - most probably the mid-nineteenth century. The Royal Edinburgh Zoological Gardens opened in 1839 and closed in 1857 after running into difficulties. Interestingly, it appears that someone has attempted to identify the various 'animals' mentioned in this account; a handwritten list of names is visible near the top of the sheet alongside numbers linking them to the text.
Broadsides are single sheets of paper, printed on one side, to be read unfolded. They carried public information such as proclamations as well as ballads and news of the day. Cheaply available, they were sold on the streets by pedlars and chapmen. Broadsides offer a valuable insight into many aspects of the society they were published in, and the National Library of Scotland holds over 250,000 of them.
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Probable period of publication:
1839-1857 shelfmark: ABS.10.203.01(149)
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