Tom Coghland

Where the Wild Things Are

The Tower Menagerie: Being The Amazing True Story of the Royal Collection of Wild and Ferocious Beasts


Simon & Schuster 260pp £15.99 order from our bookshop

WHEREASTO DAY THE Thames foreshore at Southwark is home to little more than the rotting carcasses of shopping trolleys, visitors to London 750 years ago might have beheld a giant polar bear roaming the shingle. The bear, one of the earliest inhabitants of the royal menagerie in the Tower of London, was encouraged to sally forth with its keeper and hunt the ‘fat and sweet salrnons’ of the river.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • The mystery of Jack the Ripper's identity has long been agonised over. But what do we know about his victims?… ,
    • A piece of Literary Review history from way back in 1983: John Haffenden talks to the great Iris Murdoch. ,
    • Britain’s only travelling lit fest, the Garden Museum Literary Festival is heading to Houghton Hall, Norfolk, for a… ,
    • 'The 19th-century German sage is not my idea of a pleasant travel companion' goes hiking with Friedr… ,
    • If you want ideas about what to read next, sign up to our free email newsletter, and get book reviews, archive mate… ,
    • 'The heroic male nude could not, I think, be used today to signify civic pride and glory', as Michelangelo’s 'David… ,
    • 'Munch’s later works show us a man liberated from the torments that gave rise to some of the best-known early works… ,