Lives of the Hunted – Earnest Seton-Thompson (1901) (1st ed)


Lives of the Hunted – Earnest Seton-Thompson (1901) (1st ed)


A collection of tales about animals, based on true accounts, by a prolific writer and early proponent of animal conversation. His stories have proved tremendously popular in Japan, where it was adapted for anime and manga. 

Title: Lives of the Hunted, containing a true account of the doings of five quadrupeds and three birds, and in elucidation of the same, over 200 drawings

Author: Ernest Seton-Thompson

Publisher: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1901. First edition.

Condition: Hardcover, decorative boards. Good. Some tanning to cover, front hinge cracked, rough-cut edges. Text clean, binding tight. With black-and-white illustrated plates. 361pp., app 8″x5″.

A collection of stories about animals, based in large part on true accounts of the wilderness. In writing this book, the author hoped to contribute to the preservation of wild animals, and therefore sought to “humanize” the animals, so to speak. Each tale is about an individual named animal, e.g., Krag, the Kootenay Ram, Johnny Bear, or a group of animals, each of whom is also named. The animals are given personalities, and the stories are written so as to make them relatable to people.

He writes:

“In my previous books I have tried to emphasize our kinship with animals by showing that in them we can find the virtues most admired in Man…In this volume, Majesty, Grace, the Power of Wisdom, the sweet Uses of Adversity, and the two-edged Sorrows of Rebellion are similarly set forth…

My chief motive, my most earnest underlying wish, has been to stop the extermination of harmless wild animals; not for their sakes, but for ours, firmly believing that each of our native wild creatures is in itself a precious heritage that we have no right to destroy or put beyond the reach of our children….

I have tried to stop the stupid and brutal work of destruction by an appeal – not to reason: that has failed hitherto – but to sympathy, and especially the sympathies of the coming generation.”

About the writer (from Wikipedia):

Ernest Thompson Seton (born Ernest Evan Thompson August 14, 1860 – October 23, 1946) was an author, wildlife artist, founder of the Woodcraft Indians in 1902 (renamed Woodcraft League of America), and one of the founding pioneers of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) in 1910.

Seton also influenced Lord Baden-Powell, the founder of one of the first Scouting organizations. His writings were published in the United Kingdom, Canada, the US, and the USSR; his notable books related to Scouting include The Birch Bark Roll and the Boy Scout Handbook. He is responsible for the appropriation and incorporation of what he believed to be American Indian elements into the traditions of the BSA.