Attributed to Richard Barrett Davis, Three “liger” cubs bred between a lion and a tigress at the Royal Menagerie, Sandpit Gate, Windsor Great Park, October 1824, ca. 1824–1830

John Philip Kemble was London’s leading Shakespearean actor in the early decades of the nineteenth century. Once, on his way home from a night of revelry, a thoroughly inebriated Kemble was seized by an irresistible urge to ride a rhino. The obvious place to fulfill his wish was at the city’s famous menagerie, the Exeter Change, in the Strand. When his request was turned down by a sleepy keeper—it was 4:15 in the morning—he demanded to see the owner, Stephen Polito, at once,...

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