Horace Walpole's Cat
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One day in 1747, Horace Walpole's cat Selima fell into a tub of goldfishes and drowned, inspiring Thomas Gray to write his much-loved Ode on the Death of a Favourite Cat. This delightful, handsomely produced book takes the poem as a starting point for an exploration of 18th century matters feline, drawing in Rousseau, Johnson and Christopher Smart. It features three sets of illustrations for the poem: engravings by Richard Bentley (1753), watercolours by Blake (1797) and previously unpublished drawings by Kathleen Hale (1944).