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Rossetti and his pets

The English poet and painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828–1882) was an avid keeper of pets. The garden of the house at Cheyne Walk, Chelsea that he shared with Algernon Swinburne, George Meredith and others contained a menagerie including, as well as ‘ordinary domestic creatures’, at least one of each of the following: deer, kangaroo, zebu, armadillo, laughing jackass, chameleon, squirrel, mole, woodchuck, marmot, white mouse, green lizard, Japanese salamander, talking parrot, raven, wood owl, Virginia owl, Chinese horned owl, jackdaw, undulated grass-parakeet, and wombat.

At one point he bought a white bull because it had ‘eyes like Jane Morris’, but had to get rid of it because it ‘kicked everything to pieces’. Continue reading

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