Feline favourites: An exhibition of literature’s leading cats
28 November 2019
Even before the internet, cats captured the cultural imagination. A new exhibition at the British Library explores the various literary guises of our feline friends in stories and poems, from comical kitties to mysterious creatures and master criminals.
The new exhibition, Cats on the Page, at The British Library brings together original illustrations and a selection of sound recordings that celebrate cats and their capers in rhymes and stories.
There are sections exploring The Mystery of Cats, Traditional Tails, The Purrfect Crime, In the Company of Cats, Comical Cats and Mewsic and Mayhem, with recordings including a reading of Macavity the Mystery Cat by TS Eliot, and songs from the musical Cats and Disney’s The Aristocats.
The exhibition’s run coincides with the 80th anniversary year of the original publication of Eliot’s classic poetry collection, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, which forms the basis for the musical Cats. The musical is now being adapted into a film for 2019, with a star-studded cast featuring Dame Judi Dench, Sir Ian McKellen, Idris Elba and Taylor Swift.