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Article

Clara's Grand Tour

Posted on

Clara's Grand Tour

type:
Book
Current Status:
In Season
author:
Glynis Ridley
publisher:
Atlantic Monthly Press
genre:
Nonfiction, History

We gave it a B+

She traveled across 18th-century Europe in a coach drawn by eight horses and was admired in both palaces and village squares (despite being slathered in fish oil). She was Clara, a 5,000-pound rhinoceros and improbable sensation who crisscrossed the Continent on a full-blown media tour accompanied by her owner, a shrewd and resourceful Dutch sea captain (who earns the author’s respect for managing to keep the animal alive during her six-month journey from India). Entertainingly evoking the era’s intellectual and social landscape, Glynis Ridley presents a wry account of this remarkable pair and their 17-year tour.