a joy, a triumph, a delight, a madness
January 10, 2019 11:59 AM   Subscribe

Oh! How the family affections combat
Within this heart; and each hour flings a bomb at
My burning soul; neither from owl nor from bat
Can peace be gained, until I clasp my wombat!


Angus Trumble writes for the Public Domain Review about the mid-19th century wombat craze.
posted by theodolite (15 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
 
the poet and semi-professional sadomasochist Algernon Charles Swinburne

Okay, that is *not* a thing I knew about Swinburne.
posted by tavella at 12:10 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


They poop cubes! What's not to love?
posted by Grither at 12:35 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


This article enchants me.
posted by Hypatia at 12:43 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


Had to have that
Had to have that
Your wombat
Had that

Herbivorous, crepuscular
Cuddly, but muscular
posted by bondcliff at 12:53 PM on January 10 [5 favorites]


Meanwhile, within days, Rossetti’s sister, Christina, had sent him breathless verses in Italian entitled “O Uommibatto”, in which she described the animal as “agil, giocondo” (nimble, cheerful), as well as “irsuto e tondo” (hairy and round).

Like so?

Morning and evening
Maids heard the wombats cry:
“Come buy our cubist poop,
Come buy, come buy...

posted by mandolin conspiracy at 1:25 PM on January 10 [6 favorites]


This rather nonchalant kangaroo turned out to have escaped from Mr Wombwell’s Wild Beast Show, which had lately occupied The Mound.

The second reference comes sixteen years later, in October 1850, and likewise concerns a kangaroo escapee, this time from a menagerie that belonged to a newly-elected Member of Parliament, W. J. Evelyn, of Wotton, near Dorking in West Surrey. Raising the alarm, Evelyn called out the local hunt, replete with huntsmen, a pack of beagles, whippers-in and so forth.


Try reading this aloud without giggling.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 1:40 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


Previously on MetaFilter: Rossetti and the Wombat. (Main link goes to an earlier version of the same article by the same author, with some extra material but without the illustrations.)

Bonus link: Katherine Rundell, Consider the Wombat.
posted by verstegan at 2:11 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


My interest in the animal is probably due to Ursula Vernon.

My love for the word “wombat” itself goes back to the first time I encountered it. It’s such a fun word to say. Wombat. Wombat. WooommBat!
posted by tdismukes at 2:14 PM on January 10 [6 favorites]


May I present my own efforts in this specialised field: my most popular tweet ever.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 2:16 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


Okay, that is *not* a thing I knew about Swinburne.

Oddly enough, my experience as a Victorianist has been that nobody knows anything else about Swinburne.
posted by thomas j wise at 4:58 PM on January 10 [6 favorites]


Today I learned there is a place called Dorking in West Surrey.
posted by medusa at 5:08 PM on January 10


What some say with irony, I say with conviction: this is relevant to my interests.
posted by BeeDo at 9:26 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


That was fascinating! Genuinely surprised by the account of wombat domestication - I'd always been under the impression that they were somewhat unfriendly up close.
posted by yours in calendrical heresy at 6:42 AM on January 11


Wombats on Maria Island so cute that tourists urged to take pledge to keep distance [Aussie ABC]

Can confirm- wombats on Maria Island are outrageously cute. (I didn't get a selfie though.)
posted by freethefeet at 7:07 PM on January 18


In the 4th image, "ye peculiar or prickly porcupine" looks like a cross between an Edward Gorey drawing and a Nickelodeon cartoon character.

On the other hand I will have to fight the temptation to get a tattoo of "ye sheepe" somewhere silly. Maybe on my back with just a tiny bit peeking out of a tank top, so someone will ask what the tattoo is and expect something serious. And then I pull back the shirt at reveal ye sheepe.

"ye horse" does not appear to be a horse at all, but perhaps a cat stretching?

"Ye greate blacke Deville" is definitely a Rodent of Unusual Size, which many of us know from The Princess Bride.
posted by Emmy Rae at 4:16 PM on January 19


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