One of the first animal viewpoint novels published in North America, Margaret Marshall Saundersâs Beautiful Joe tells the story of an abused dog and his rescue by a humane family. The novel, based on the true story of a dog in the authorâs home province of Ontario, fuelled humane sentiments worldwide. This annotated, illustrated edition draws on archival collections to trace the novelâs impact on the nineteenth-century animal protection movement. The introduction also highlights some of the important social issues surrounding the substantive revisions and omissions in ensuing editions of the text.
The historical appendices place the novel in its rich milieu as an international bestseller that taught a generation of children to practice kindness towards animals. Documents include animal training manuals, lesson plans for teaching humane education, legal records of prosecutions for cruelty, and contemporary writings on the psychology of pet-keeping.
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