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Noblesse et animal domestique au XIXe siècle

Claude-Isabelle Brelot


Be it with swans, horses, peacocks, or hounds, the nobility has always maintained a special relationship with animals. For centuries the domestication of wild animals has been the perennial symbol of the nobility's ambition to master space and time. The enduring bestiary tradition of heraldy did not prevent animals from going in and out of fashion as representatives of distinction and luxury: cats, greyhounds, monkeys, parrots, tortoises and dogs. In the nineteenth century, however, the nobility established a more intimate and affectionate relationship with domestic animals as living, sensitive beings — in the ranks of the SPCA, for exemple. Yet at the same time, this new mentality corresponded to an identity crisis that uped the ante of Belle Époque excentricity.

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Index terms

Mots-clés :

Animal, Noblesse

Chronologique :

XIXe siècle
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Electronic reference

Claude-Isabelle Brelot, « Noblesse et animal domestique au XIXe siècle », Cahiers d'histoire [Online], 42-3/4 | 1997, Online since , connection on 20 June 2021. URL : ; DOI :

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