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9781906267353Anti-vivisection campaigners unveiled their memorial to a little brown dog in 1906 in Battersea, London. That dog’s treatment had been the centre of a libel trial making London medical schools the focus of national criticism. This memorial taunted scientists, provoking passions so high that thousands demonstrated and 24-hour police guards were needed to prevent the memorial’s destruction. In 1910, it was removed in a midnight operation and never seen in public again.

In 1985, a replacement arrived, given prominence in London’s Battersea Park. A new design; a new idea. But it, too, provoked, then quietly it was transferred to an inconspicuous corner of the park. It stands there today. At the very least, it’s a lovely, thought-provoking sculpture.

This book compares the two statues, tells a little of their history, and provides an original photographic record and description of the more recent.

The aim is to revive a small piece of London history. Another aim is to catch of glimpse of a fascinating story involving political activism, history of science, and a small brown terrier dog who came to symbolize an issue we continue to struggle with today.

Visit Battersea

View Brown Dog Memorials in Battersea in a larger map


Joe Cain is Professor of History and Philosophy of Biology at University College London. He specializes in the history of evolutionary biology and the history of science and society in London (more).


Cain, Joe. 2013. The Brown Dog in Battersea Park (London: Euston Grove Press), 32 pages and 20 illustrations.

ISBN13: 978-1-906267-35-3 (paperback)
ISBN10: 1-906267-35-9
Recommended price: £6.99 | $13.99 | €12.99
dimensions: 8.5 x 8.5 (inches)
dimensions: 216 x 216 (mm)


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