• 328 pages
  • 6 x 9
  • 4 figs., 15 halftones
  • Price: $30.95
  • EAN: 9781566399180
  • Publication: Aug 2001
  • Price: $30.95
  • EAN: 9781439901502
  • Publication: Aug 2001

The Wild Animal Story

edited by Ralph H. Lutts
  • Association of American University Presses Book Jacket Award, 1999

At the beginning of the twentieth century, the wild animal story emerged in Canadian literature as a distinct genre, in which animals pursue their own interests—survival for themselves, their offspring, and perhaps a mate, or the pure pleasure of their wildness.

Bringing together some of the most celebrated wild animal stories, Ralph H. Lutts places them firmly in the context of heated controversies about animal intelligence and purposeful behavior. Widely regarded as entertaining and educational, the early stories—by Charles G. D. Roberts, Ernest Thompson Seton, John Muir, Jack London and others—had an avid readership among adults and children. But some naturalists and at least one hunter—Theodore Roosevelt—discredited these writers as "nature fakers," accusing them of falsely portraying animal behavior.

The stories and commentaries collected here span the twentieth century. As present day animal behaviorists, psychologists, and the public attempt to sort out the meaning of what animals do and our obligations to them, Ralph Lutts maps some of the prominent features of our cultural landscape.

Tales include:

  • The Springfield Fox by Ernest Thompson Seton

  • The Sounding of the Call by Jack London

  • Stickeen by John Muir

  • Journey to the Sea by Rachel Carson

Other selections include esssays by Theoore Roosevelt, John Burroughs, Margaret Atwood, and Ralph H. Lutts.


"A marvelous collection of turn-of-the-century animal stories...The Wild Animal Story is well conceived, sensibly organized, admirably complete, and judiciously framed. One hopes that this indispensable and fascinating sourcebook will inspire renewed critical attention to this promising area of research."

About the Author(s)

Ralph H. Lutts, Associate Faculty, Goddard College Off-Campus BA/MA Program and Adjunct Faculty, University of Virginia, Division of Continuing Education, is the author of The Nature Fakers: Wildlife, Science, and Sentiment.

In the Series

Animals, Culture, and Society

Animals, Culture, and Society, edited by Arnold Arluke and Clinton R. Sanders, is concerned with probing the complex and contradictory human-animal relationship through the publication of accessible books that consider the place of animals in our culture, our literature, our society, and our homes.