“The Tender Horns of Cockled Snails”: Feeling With Vermin in Early Modern England

Activity: Lecture / PresentationAcademic


Animal suffering plays a central role in shifting our modes of relating to non-human species. As Erica Fudge puts it, “to recognize an animal’s sentience is also to begin to contemplate its capacity for suffering, and so observation - so often an objectifying act - can also produce a new assessment of the subject status of the observed thing.’ (Cockram & Wells 2018: xvii). Research into the role of compassion in interspecies relations for the early modern period has mainly focused on dogs, horses, and cats (with special attention to Montaigne’s cat). These domestic companion species invite compassion more easily than others. In this paper, I heed Lucinda Cole’s recent call for research into affective relations with “the zoological outcasts with whom identification is rarely possible or desired” – I explore the question whether early moderns experienced compassion with snails.
Period3 Jul 2018
Event titleSociety for Renaissance Studies 2018
Event typeConference
Conference number8
LocationSheffield, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational

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