Victorian Cryptozoology and the Search for Strange Beasts

Posted on Posted in Symposium Session

Along with new zoological discoveries in the Victorian era came the search for —and sometimes creation of— new and amazing species.

Presented at Symposium 2019 by Dr. Renea Frey and Robert Dorsey

Along with discoveries of fossils and new species—such as mammoths, dinosaurs, and the confusing platypus of Australia—came the belief that perhaps anything was possible in the natural world. In the Victorian age, people flocked to public displays of amazing, unusual beasts, made possible by world exploration, archeology, and/or the ingenuity of creative taxidermy. This presentation will highlight these monsters and mishaps, some the creation of nature and others from human imagination.


Dr. Renea Frey is a professor of Rhetoric and the Writing Program Director in the English Department at Xavier University. Her research interests include nineteenth-century writing, persuasion, culture, and discourse, including women’s writing and the emergence of science as a discipline.

Click HERE for the 2019 Symposium Schedule

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