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190 × 135 × 15 mm
200 pages
104 illustrations, 55 in colour
01 Jun 2014

Walrus Louise Miller, John Miller

Known for its prominent tusks and distinctive whiskers, the walrus has often cropped up in contemporary culture: from the grandiloquent protagonist of Lewis Carroll’s poem ‘The Walrus and the Carpenter’, to The Beatles’ enigmatic pronouncement ‘I am the Walrus’. Walruses have also played a significant role in Arctic indigenous communities, where they have held a central place in traditional mythologies.

Walrus explores the intriguing and affecting history of an animal that remains on the frontline of contemporary conservation debates. Commercial walrus hunting was banned in the 1930s, and today only subsistence hunting is permitted, yet the mammal still faces an uncertain future. Shrinking pack-ice caused by global warming is causing serious problems for walrus herds, while the exploitation of arctic oil and gas resources puts further pressure on the animals.

This important book combines natural, cultural and environmental histories to offer a refreshing and wonderfully illustrated account of the much-loved mammal. Walrus foregrounds the ethical dilemmas they embody, such as the continuing and intensifying conflict between the developed world and indigenous interests, and the impact of global warming on arctic animals.

Louise Miller is an independent scholar based in Kent, UK.

John Miller is a lecturer in nineteenth-century literature at the University of Sheffield, UK and author of Empire and the Animal Body: Violence, Ecology and Identity in Victorian Adventure Fiction (2012).

1. The Walrus Emerges

2. Walruses and the Indigenous Arctic

3. The War on the Walrus

4. Walruses in Popular and Visual Culture

5. Walruses in a Warming World



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