Catland

Catland: Feline Enchantment and the Making of the Modern World

Art, Artist Monographs & Biographies
Hardback Published on: 25/04/2024
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Synopsis

Some called it a craze. To others it was a cult. Join prize-winning historian Kathryn Hughes to discover how Britain fell in love with cats and ushered in a new era.

‘He invented a whole cat world’ declared H. G. Wells of Louis Wain, the Edwardian artist whose anthropomorphic kittens made him a household name. His drawings were irresistible but Catland was more than the creation of one eccentric imagination. It was an attitude – a way of being in society while discreetly refusing to follow its rules.

As cat capitalism boomed in the spectacular Edwardian age, prized animals changed hands for hundreds of pounds and a new industry sprung up to cater for their every need. Cats were no longer basement-dwelling pest-controllers, but stylish cultural subversives, more likely to flaunt a magnificent ruff and a pedigree from Persia. Wherever you found old conventions breaking down, there was a cat at the centre of the storm.

Whether they were flying aeroplanes, sipping champagne or arguing about politics, Wain’s feline cast offered a sly take on the restless and risky culture of the post-Victorian world. No-one experienced these uncertainties more acutely than Wain himself, confined to a mental asylum while creating his most iconic work. Catland is a fascinating and fabulous unravelling of our obsession with cats, and the man dedicated to chronicling them.

  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • ISBN: 9780008365103
  • Number of pages: 416
  • Weight: 680g
  • Dimensions: 240 x 159 x 40 mm

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