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190 × 135 mm
184 pages
97 illustrations, 67 in colour
15 Jun 2015

Guinea Pig Dorothy Yamamoto

Guinea pigs are one of the world’s most popular pets – small, friendly, easy to care for and unbearably cute. First domesticated in 5000 BCE, guinea pigs have been bred increasingly for their looks, shaped by humans in search of an ideal ‘guinea pig’ appearance, and have been used as scientific subjects since the seventeenth century. They have also been the focus of countless works of art and literature – including paintings by Jan Brueghel the Elder, illustrated stories by Beatrix Potter and Michael Bond’s The Tales of Olga da Polga – inspiring children and adults alike.

Guinea Pig is the first book of its kind to take an in-depth look at the fascinating history of guinea pig and human interaction. It examines guinea pigs in their role as pets, their use as sacrificial offerings to Inca gods, the breeding of ‘fancy’ guinea pigs and the farming and eating of the animals throughout Andean countries. It also details the history of the guinea pig as an experimental subject – the term now applied to anyone who participates in a scientific study or test.
Guinea Pig is the perfect companion for animal lovers, guinea pig owners and anyone interested in the history of domesticated animals.

‘Yamamoto provides wide-ranging and interesting reading in a compact volume . . . I recommend this well-written and beautifully illustrated book as a respectable compendium on the guinea pig/domestic cavy.’ – Anthrozoös

‘Yamamoto brilliantly explores guinea pigs’ cultural history too, from Beatrix Potter to Tales of the Riverbank, from box office hit G-Force to the Star Trek classic episode ‘The Trouble with Tribbles’ which ultimately draws its plot from an old story about you-knowwhat. This is a fascinating book about a fascinating creature, although you may have to steel yourself to read the chapters on foodstuffs and research.’ – Eastern Daily Press

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Dorothy Yamamoto is a poet, the co-editor of Animals on the Agenda (1998) and author of The Boundaries of the Human in Medieval English Literature (2000). She lives in Oxford.