For the love of life
DOI link for For the love of life
For the love of life book
This chapter explores the earliest political economy and geography of pitted dog fighting, based in Britain. Coal mining subsequently intensified and expanded across the West Midlands and other coal mining areas of Great Britain, including Wales and Scotland, where it had already long been practiced. It explores how the Industrial Revolution, and early British colliery life, specifically, produced material equivalencies between pitted dog fighting and pitted men, both of whom were made to operate "under circumstances of excruciating trial". The chapter examines how strongly male colliers identified, and were identified by others, with fighting dogs. The first pitted bull dogs – or pit bull dogs – came from the mixed mastiff-alaunt stock that British farmers had used as working animals and in bull-baiting events, beginning in the late Middle Ages. The historic levels of migration and urbanization accompanying the Industrial Revolution, and the related cultural importance and pervasiveness of working-class pubs, facilitated the blood sport's geographical circulation and dispersion.