If you’re a serious fan of Ouida’s novels, then you probably agree that she created some of popular fiction’s most memorable characters. In many of her novels, it’s the villain who stands out from the rest of the cast. Here is a list of some of my personal picks for the best of her worst.
With much effort and eyestrain on the blogger, the following selection was transcribed from an unpublished essay written by Ouida on the subject of animal cruelty. The essay is largely a rebuttal to her friend Lady Paget’s impressions of the lives of domesticated animals in late nineteenth century Florence. Ouida is widely regarded as an important early voice for animal rights; in particular, she is often noted for her lifelong defense of the humane treatment of dogs. This excerpt clearly shows, however, that she was also concerned with the conditions for equines in their use as work animals: