The English Pig: A History
Bloomsbury Academic, Feb 5, 2003 - History - 176 pages
The English Pig is an account of pigs and pig-keeping from the sixteenth century to modern times, concentrating on the domestic, cottage pig, rather than commercial farming. In Victorian England the pig was an integral part of village life: both visible and essential. Living in close proximity to its owners, fed on scraps and the subject of perennial interest, the pig when dead provided the means to repay social and monetary debts as well as excellent meat.
While the words associated with the pig, such as 'hoggish', 'swine' and 'pigsty', and phrases like 'greedy as a pig', associate the pig with greed and dirt, this book shows the pig's virtues, intelligence and distinctive character. It is a portrait of one of the most recognisable but least known of farm animals, seen here also in many photographs and other representations. The pig has a modest place in literature from Fielding's pig-keeping Parson Trulliber to Hardy's Jude the Obscure and to Flora Thompson's Lark Rise to Candleford. In modern times, while vanishing from the sight of most people, it has been sentimentalised in children's stories and commercialised in advertisements.
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