Finding a Man and his Horse in the Archive?

  • Hilda Kean
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Animals and Literature book series (PSAAL)


Too often researchers have ignored developments in historiography and conventional material that might usefully be applied to animal histories. This chapter draws on work both in cultural historiography and in animal-human studies to suggest that the key issue is not only on materials but also the position of the historian. The chapter explores concepts in unpublished diaries written by London-based Laurance Holman, an avid horse-rider, between 1940 and 1950. In writing about his horses, particularly Mariana, this chapter argues that such material sheds light on a particular equine-human relationship at a specific time. It concludes by arguing that if we are interested in acknowledging the identity of individual animals, it also means recognising the traces that do exist—and using them.


Animal-human relationship Diary material Historian’s stance Horses Laurence Holman London in the 1940s 



Thanks to Russell Burrows, Kim Stallwood, André Krebber and Mieke Roscher for their support.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hilda Kean
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.University of GreenwichLondonUK
  2. 2.University College LondonLondonUK

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