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Young Skins by Colin Barrett
Young Skins


Winner of the 2014 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award


“A stunning debut . . . The timeless nature of each story means this collection can—and will—be read many years from now.” —Sunday Times

“Exciting and stylistically adventurous.” —Colm Toibín
Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante
Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes
 
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A biography of Clara, an eighteenth-century globe-trotting celebrity that also happened to be a fully grown Indian rhinoceros
Clara's Grand Tour
Travels with a Rhinoceros in Eighteenth-Century Europe
By Glynis Ridley
Grove Press
978-0-8021-4233-7 • $12.00 • Paperback • Jan. 2006
History (Europe)
A biography of Clara, an eighteenth-century globe-trotting celebrity that also happened to be a fully grown Indian rhinoceros

In 1741, an enterprising Dutch sea captain transported a young female Indian rhinoceros from Assam to Europe, where she was displayed before everyone from peasants to princes.

In an age before railways and modern roads, the three-ton Clara, as she became known, had to travel in an enormous coach drawn by eight horses. For seventeen years she journeyed across mainland Europe and Britain: she became a favorite of heads of state, including Frederick the Great and Louis XV; she modeled for scientific portraits and etchings; she inspired poems, songs, and fashions; and she was immortalized in everything from tin coins to the finest porcelain. She was a star.

Her tour involved unprecedented logistical planning, as no one knew how to care for this largest of land mammals. A rhinoceros can eat up to 150 pounds of vegetation a day—two and a half tons a month—and Clara developed an uncommon fondness for oranges, beer, and tobacco. Later, when Clara’s popularity threatened to decline, her owner orchestrated a series of publicity stunts. For instance, upon news of Clara’s certain and imminent death, there would be an upsurge in interest, sympathy . . . and bookings. She eventually ended her days in London, where she had become famous enough to merit mention in Oliver Goldsmith’s History of the Earth and Animated Nature and in Samuel Richardson’s Clarissa.

Awarded the prestigious Institute of Historical Research Prize, Glynis Ridley’s sparkling history brings Clara’s tragicomic story vividly to life. Clara’s Grand Tour is also a portrait of an era that saw the rhinoceros as both an object of marvel and a challenge to fundamental philosophical and theological beliefs.
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