At the beginning of the twentieth century, the wild animal story emerged in Canadian literature as a distinct genre, in which animals pursue their own interests -- survival for themselves, their offspring, and perhaps a mate, or the pure pleasure of their wildness.
Bringing together some of the most celebrated wild animal stories, Ralph H. Lutts places them firmly in the context of heated controversies about animal intelligence and purposeful behavior. Widely regarded as entertaining and educational, the early stories -- by Charles G. D. Roberts, Ernest Thompson Seton, John Muir, Jack London, and others -- had an avid readership among adults and children. But some naturalists and at least one hunter -- Theodore Roosevelt -- discredited these writers as "nature fakers, " accusing them of falsely portraying animal behavior.
The stories and commentaries collected here span the twentieth century. As present-day animal behaviorists, psychologists, and the public attempt to sort out the meaning of what animals do and our obligations to them, commercial books, films, and television documentaries have become the main source of public information about nature and wild creatures. In this account of our radically changed views of animals, Ralph Lutts maps some of the prominent features of our cultural landscape.
-- The Springfield Fox by Ernest Thompson Seton
-- The Sounding of the Call by Jack London
-- Stickeen by John Muir
-- Journey to the Sea by Rachel Carson
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Ralph H. Lutts, Associate Faculty, Goddard College Off-Campus BA/MA Program and Adjunct Faculty, University of Virginia, Division of Continuing Education, is the author of The Nature Fakers: Wildlife, Science, and Sentiment.
Preface 1. The Wild Animal Story: Animals and Ideas - Ralph H. Lutts Part I: Tales 2. On His Animal Stories - Charles G. D. Roberts 3. Do Seek Their Meat from God - Charles G. D. Roberts 4. The Rivals of Ringwaak - Charles G. D. Roberts 5. On His Animal Stories - Ernest Thompson Seton 6. Lobo: The King of the Currumpaw - Ernest Thompson Seton 7. The Springfield Fox - Ernest Thompson Seton 8. On His Animal Stories - William J. Long 9. A School for Little Fishermen - William J. Long 10. Trails That Cross in the Snow - William J. Long 11. A Woodcock Genius - William J. Long 12. The Sounding of the Call - Jack London 13. Stickeen - John Muir 14. Journey to the Sea - Rachel L. Carson Part II: Controversy 15. Real and Sham Natural History - John Burroughs 16. The Modern School of Nature-Study and Its Critics - William J. Long 17. The Fate of Little Mucky - Ernest Thompson Seton 18. The Writings of William J. Long - W. F. Ganong 19. Truth Plain and Coloured - W. H. Hudson 20. Nature as a Field for Fiction - Mabel Osgood Wright 21. Roosevelt on the Nature Fakirs - Edward B. Clark 22. "I Propose to Smoke Roosevelt Out" - Dr. Long 23. Charles G.D. Roberts Defends His Nature Stories 24. Real Naturalists on Nature Faking - Edward B. Clark 25. "Nature Fakers" - Theodore Roosevelt 26. The Other Animals - Jack London 27. Chipmunk Thoughts - John Burroughs Part III: Interpretations 28. Animal Victims - Margaret Atwood 29. The Revolt Against Instinct: The Animal Stories of Seton and Roberts - Robert H. MacDonald 30. The Realistic Animal Story: Ernest Thompson Seton, Charles Roberts, and Darwinism - Thomas R. Dunlap 31. Stickeen and the Moral Education of John Muir - Ronald H. Limbaugh 32. Will the Real Wild Animal Please Stand Up! The Nature Fakers - Ralph H. Lutts About the Writers Index Illustrations
"...an invaluable sourcebook of information about the 'nature fakers' controversy that engaged many of the leading figures in natural history at the turn of the century.... Given the inaccessibility of many of the documents it collects, as well as the thoroughness with which it presents them, The Wild Animal Story would make an excellent classroom resource..."
-Environmental History "A marvelous collection of turn-of-the-century animal stories...The Wild Animal Story is well conceived, sensibly organized, admirably complete, and judiciously framed. One hopes that this indispensable and fascinating sourcebook will inspire renewed critical attention to this promising area of research."
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