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Friend or Food?

Alexander Bevilacqua, 14 December 2023

The Tame and the Wild: People and Animals after 1492 
by Marcy Norton.
Harvard, 419 pp., £33.95, January, 978 0 674 73752 5
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The Perfection of Nature: Animals, Breeding and Race in the Renaissance 
by Mackenzie Cooley.
Chicago, 353 pp., £30, October 2022, 978 0 226 82228 0
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... Spain, for example, nearly half of all newborn lambs were considered defective and killed. In Mackenzie Cooley’s erudite new history, The Perfection of Nature, the story of animal breeding provides the basis for a different sort of reconsideration of human-animal relations in 16th-century Europe and America. If Norton writes about ...

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