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Lucius and an Animals In Fiction Rant

May 12th, 2015 (06:08 pm)

I suppose I should be happy that at least I fancy blogging occasionally, even if it is only ranting.

First, Lucius. Not great news, but not lethal news either.He’s got hyperthyroidism and that means tablets for the rest of his life, probably. There is a radioactive injection which can knock it out in one hit, but I haven’t been offered that, so I’ll discus it with the vet when i go to pick up his tablets. How the hell i’m supposed to get him to eat a pill a day i have NO CLUE. He’s very savvy about Mother sticking it in his cheese/meat/egg whatever.

Also the pills are £40 a month which is a real problem, I have used the online Viovet before, so once I get the dosage sorted out I’ll research them for prices – the vets pills are horrifically marked up, the flea treatment they sold me was £27 and on Viovet was £9!!!! so, yeah. Rip off city. I know they’ve got to pay overheads and staff, but three times the price? Please justify that!

And as we are on animals (when are we not?) a short grumble about animals in fiction. SO MANY authors, including you, Diana Gabaldon, I’m looking at you!,

simply choose an animal to portray because it’s nice looking, or has a particular trait that stands out. With Gabaldon (apart from having wolves in Scotland in the Jacobite rebellion which is nonsense) it was SHEEP. Merino sheep. Perhaps she’s seen Merinos in America and thought, awww cute! (They do look like grumpy Teddy Bears wearing scarves, it’s true). BUT, they came from Spain and although they’ve been around for a while, the Spanish were hugely possessive about their animals and importation of Merinos was forbidden under pain of DEATH. So there’s no way Jamie’s sister would have had a personal flock in 1743.  There was some export internationally in the 18th century BUT these were royal beasts and the king of Spain sent them to other royalty. Not some two bit laird’s sister in Scotland!

Similarly (and I partially blame Hollywood/TV for this) so many authors love Spanish horses and they pick a famous type, such as a Andalusian and crowbar them into their books.  The Andalusian ’s history is fairly similar, they were famously guarded by the King of Spain and no animal was allowed out of the country except by his export – right up until the 1960s! So when I see the three musketeers galumphing around on them, i have a personal growl, particularly when they say how poor they are!

I was impressed by the new Poldark version though, poor Ross had some lumpy Roman nosed hunter to canter along the cliffs on and I was probably the only one who noticed the horse…. Open-mouthed smile


Posted by: sandra_lindsey (sandra_lindsey)
Posted at: May 12th, 2015 05:25 pm (UTC)

Yes! Why do people not realise how important it is to get the correct breed for the country / timeframe? One of the reasons the English put so much effort into sheep breeding was to develop a competitor to the Merino!

I often fall about laughing at chickens in films. Often one sees Warrens (modern-as-in-post-WW2 breed), and even when they do try a bit harder, they usually end up with Orpingtons, which weren't around until 19th century. Totally spoiled Girl With A Pearl Earring for me, that did ;-)

Although I think the funniest one I saw was something where there was a bunch of men supposedly organising / watching a cock fight. But the two birds were suspiciously lacking in spurs, so more than likely hens!

Posted by: Erastes (erastes)
Posted at: May 12th, 2015 06:15 pm (UTC)

i'm so glad its not just me who fumes about this stuff. I sometimes feel a bit weird, as I think no one else cares let alone notices!

Perhaps it's a niche market! We should open an animal rental agency specialising in historic breeds. Lots of kerry and white park cattle, highland ponies (notably absent in Outlander book or tv version)!!

Posted by: sandra_lindsey (sandra_lindsey)
Posted at: May 12th, 2015 07:39 pm (UTC)

The chap who runs the Cotswold Rare Breeds Park does that (he was on Country file about it years ago...) but I think that not everyone cares enough to get it right...

Posted by: charliecochrane (charliecochrane)
Posted at: May 13th, 2015 12:31 pm (UTC)

What she said! They get warhorses wrong, too, eg for the crusades. apparently they were more percheron than racehorse!

Posted by: Erastes (erastes)
Posted at: May 13th, 2015 05:56 pm (UTC)

exactly, there were MEN'S horses, palfreys for the girlies and native breeds or walking for the peasants!

Posted by: Stevie Carroll (stevie_carroll)
Posted at: May 14th, 2015 07:02 pm (UTC)
Sit at Typewriter and Curse by sallymn

I noticed Poldark's horse and approved too.

I put loads of work into figuring out what breeds of beast my characters would have on their farms; why can't other people?

Posted by: kcwarwick (kcwarwick)
Posted at: May 15th, 2015 04:44 pm (UTC)

I'm afraid bad riding in films is the thing that gets me, and in books shaking the reins to make the horse move forward.

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