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Swallows and Hounds: Defoe’s Thinking Animals

STEPHEN H. GREGG

NOTES

1. As Michael Newton suggests, “Peter exists in terms of the thing which he does not fully possess” (“Bodies Without Souls” 206). For other discussions of this text, see Novak (1972), Nash (2003), and Gregg.

2.For valuable commentary on the key texts that constitute the debate in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, see Shugg, Thomas, and Fudge. For a selection of these texts with a brief commentary, see The Daniel Defoe Blog: http://danieldefoeblog.com/2013/07/03/defoe-and-descartes-beast-machine-a-brief-bibliography-2/.

3. For a useful overview, see Cole.

4. Elsewhere, Nash sees a glimpse of sentimentalism in Crusoe’s relations to his pets (“Animal Nomenclature” 101−118). Armstrong briefly acknowledges Defoe’s Review piece as a “challenge to the separation of human rationality from brute mechanical instinct” (17).

5. See Gregg, “Defoe’s ‘Horse-Rhetorick.’” In this sense I am following Carol Houlinhan Flynn who argues for Defoe’s keen awareness of the “problem of the [human] body” (6).

6. The first edition was in 1691, although the swallows were not discussed until the enlarged third edition of 1701 and in subsequent editions.

7. For the Tour’s sources, see Rogers (61−118) and Vickers (151−76).

8. The reply by “J.S.” appears in the “Supplement for January 1705” which appeared after the March 27th edition.

9.The detail of the “open mouth” does not appear in any other version of this fable I have been able to find.

10. John McVeagh suggests that for Archytas and Kircher “Defoe’s correspondent is perhaps drawing upon two entries in Collier” (Collier’s translation of Moréri’s Dictionary, 1701) (Review 1.740).

11. For an ingenious and suggestive reading of eighteenth-century thinking on the nature of sympathy between humans and animals via J.M. Coetzee’s Elizabeth Costello and, in passing, Defoe’s realism, see Lamb.


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Morton, Charles. An Essay Towards the Probable Solution of this Question. Whence come the stork and the turtle, the crane and the swallow, when they know and observe the appointed time of their coming. Or where those birds do probably make their recess and abode, which are absent from our Climate at some certain Times and Seasons of the Year. London, 1703. Print.

——. “Appendix of the Soules of Brutes.” Pneumaticks: Or the Doctrine of Spirits. Harvard MS AM911* (pp. 89−126), Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.

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