Animal Victims in Modern Fiction: From Sanctity to Sacrifice


330 pages
Contains Illustrations, Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-8020-2832-2
DDC 809'.9336




Reviewed by Susan Minsos

Susan Minsos teaches English at the University of Alberta.


This book has more value as a reference text with a special perspective
than as an argument about animal victims in literature. It is an
elegantly written and neatly structured book, with an impressive
bibliography, a comprehensive index, and extensive notes. Literary
animal victims are examined in their cultural, urban, and rural

Scholtmeijer’s relentless catalogue of fiction’s abuse of animals
often ignores the historical context. Thus, Timothy Findley’s Not
Wanted on the Voyage makes the grade, whereas Ernest Thompson Seton’s
The Boy and the Lynx does not. Such an evaluation ignores the vast
cultural differences between Seton’s late–19th-century culture and
Findley’s post-modern influences. Scholtmeijer rages at people,
through literature, for what they think about animals. In being fair to
animals, she does not do justice either to literature or to writers.


Scholtmeijer, Marian Louise., “Animal Victims in Modern Fiction: From Sanctity to Sacrifice,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 22, 2024,