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Chapter Summary

The second major group of figures of the thylacine emerges when the production and dissemination of natural history works was rapidly increasing and this has important implications for the generation and diffusion of ideas about the species. The illustration at the centre of this chapter appeared in the series The Naturalist's Library, soon after the introduction of the first bounty on the thylacine by the Van Diemen's Land Company in 1830. The images discussed in the chapter mark a turning point in the representation of the thylacine, as well as a defining moment in natural history publishing, and demonstrate how early anxieties and speculations were distilled into loathing for the animal. To varying degrees, they picture what is perceived in Western society as 'vermin': an animal that has a cringing, cowardly demeanour like many representations of foxes or hyenas.

Keywords: The Naturalist's Library; thylacine; vermin



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