Popular Exhibitions, Science and Showmanship, 1840-1910

Posted on Wednesday 21st March 2012

A new publication by Pickering and Chatto in their Science and Culture in the Nineteenth Century series, "Popular Exhibitions, Science and Showmanship, 1840–1910" (eds. Joe Kember, John Plunkett and Jill A Sullivan) includes a chapter on the both amusing and tragic history of the "Talking Fish" by Dr Caroline Radcliffe from the Department of Drama and Theatre Arts. The 'fish' had an intense performing career for just under a year, represented through pantomime, farce and the satirical press. Discussed by eminent popular scientists, the 'fish's attractions included the ability to speak the words "Mama, Papa and John".

Demonstrating the cross-disciplinary nature of nineteenth-century show and exhibition studies, Sadiah Qureshi, from the Department of History, also contributes a chapter to the same volume: "Meeting the Zulus: Displayed Peoples and the Shows of London".