By Desmond Morris
Morris examines the leopard’s athletic beauty, predatory ability, cautious shyness, and crafty intelligence whereas additionally exploring the animal’s parental devotion, choice for solitude, and ability for revenge. as well as tracing the evolution of leopards, he considers how people have concerning the animal all through heritage. Leopards, he exhibits, have lengthy featured within the artwork, mythology, and folklore of historic Greece, Persia, Rome, or even England, the place they've got now not lived for numerous millennia. yet people and leopards don't constantly coexist peacefully; as Morris explains, leopards were identified to assault people whilst their nutrients is scarce or they're injured. He finds how people have exploited the cats, trying to educate them for circus roles, and the way at the present time a few individuals are now making strides towards the leopard’s conservation. He additionally describes their wealthy symbolism, appearances in literature and movie, and using the leopard print in either high fashion and down-market fashion.
full of compelling photos of this striking animal in action, Leopard sheds new gentle on those stunning cats.
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Additional resources for Leopard (Reaktion Books - Animal)
To start with, there have been now so few leopards left within the wild that the price of a pelt was once astronomically excessive. additionally, the recent cultural temper of holding nature made the donning of any form of fur coat much less and not more appropriate. there have been incidents during which filthy rich ladies venturing out in public of their furs have been daubed with paint by means of offended activists and, prior to lengthy, the fur coats of the area came upon themselves more and more restrained to their wardrobes. sometimes the style tried to restore curiosity in them, yet to little avail. of their position, pretend fur and leopard-skin prints became more and more well known. the sexy noticed layout has turn into a typical style equipment in a kind of abstracted shape, the place it really is abundantly transparent that no animal died to supply it. Leopard-print scarves, clothes and swimsuits are nonetheless renowned, even if they've got misplaced their glamour charm and at the moment are occasionally even appeared upon as vulgar by way of the style international, simply because they're favoured by means of pop stars, actresses in cleaning soap operas and intercourse symbols. for a few years, Julie Goodyear, in her soap-opera position as Coronation Street’s brassy barmaid guess Lynch, displayed a robust weak point for leopard-spot designs and single-handedly controlled to tug this motif to this point downmarket that it seemed it may possibly by no means get well. it sort of feels someway applicable that, in her inner most existence, she devotes a lot of her time to rescuing deserted cats. Jackie Kennedy. a tender Queen Elizabeth II preserving hot in a leopard-skin coat on a cold November day in 1952. Brassy barmaid guess Lynch of TV’s Coronation road in her leopard-skin coat. Even males have followed this way motif. it will take a daring businessman to put on leopard spots to his workplace, yet within the realm of convey enterprise, many of the extra flamboyant personalities were identified to decorate during this manner whilst acting on degree. A recognized instance is the infamous rock superstar Iggy Pop, who grew to become recognized for his leopard-head leather-based jacket within the Seventies. The savage, snarling face of the large cat at the again of his jacket went good together with his group’s album, uncooked energy. defined as ‘an iconic snapshot that has long past down in Rock ’n’ Roll history’, this jacket was once received for $2,000 in 1998 via a collector who felt pressured to explain it as ‘the Turin Shroud of Rock ’n’ Roll’. whereas those lowbrow screens have been happening, the realm of haute couture prevented its gaze. even though, high fashion refused to renounce the leopard trend altogether due to its innate good looks. Even this present day it resurfaces every now and then, yet by no means within the type of the genuine fur. The naturalist Christian Drake, commenting on its lasting attraction, believes that, ‘We can't shake the sensation that anything, by some means led us off track from our actual identification because the human ape, and enhancing ourselves in leopard print reminds us of our species’ connection to flora and fauna of the area and our once-intimate courting to it. ’ One ornamental classification the place the noticed leopard development has did not prosper is within the realm of woman cosmetics.