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The Legacy of Grip the Ankle-Biter

The Simpsons vs. The Raven

Well, I’ve got another reason to visit Philadelphia: I want to meet Grip, Charles Dickens’ raven that wound up inspiring Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven. No, he’s not still kicking–he’s rather stuffed. And Curious Expeditions sought him out at the Rare Book Department:

This was not the first raven Dickens had owned as a pet, but it was his most beloved and when it died he had it professionally taxidermied and mounted (having one’s pet stuffed having became all the rage in England after George IV had his pet giraffe stuffed).

Which is all well and good (and really, really cool), but my easily distracted brain asked the next question: What happened to George IV’s stuffed giraffe? From what I can tell, it was donated to the Zoological Society. But is it still around? Is it on display? I’ve sent off some inquiries to assuage my curiosity, but if anybody knows, let me know.

And if you want to get inspired, check out Vincent Price working his magic on Poe.