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Résumé

La présente contribution examine quelques-unes des façons dont les animaux ont été mis en vedette dans le processus électoral et le discours électoral en Angleterre tout au long du XVIII e siècle. En s’appuyant sur une série de documents textuels et visuels, la contribution défend la thèse que l’utilisation généralisée de l’imagerie animale pour représenter les participants humains aux élections (notamment les candidats au Parlement et les ‘hordes’ électorales) montre comment le vote public était interprété et considéré dans une société encore incertaine de la valeur et de la viabilité de la démocratie.

Abstract

This essay examines some of the ways in which animals featured in the electoral process, and electoral discourse, in England in the long eighteenth century. Drawing on a range of textual and visual materials, the essay argues that the widespread use of animal imagery to portray human participants in elections (whether parliamentary candidates or in electoral ‘crowds’) comments on how public voting was understood and regarded in a society still unsure of the value and viability of democracy.

In: Human-Animal Interactions in the Eighteenth Century

This special issue is one of the outcomes of a fruitful collaboration between a large group of European experts in the field of popular print. The collaboration started with a grant from the Dutch Research Council (NWO) to establish the international network ‘European Dimensions of Popular Print culture’ (EDPOP) in 2016. This group of scholars, comprising experts from a range of European countries who until then had focused mainly on regional and national material, was intrigued by the question how ‘European’ popular print culture was in the period 1450–1900. Our ambition was to create a platform

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In: Quaerendo