So I started reading The Blazing World today.
It’s a book from 1666, by Margaret Cavendish, the Duchess of Newcastle. She was an aristocrat, philosopher, poet, scientist, fiction-writer, and playwright; the book is considered one of the earliest pieces of science fiction. I can’t say it’s the first because I’m pretty sure Johannes Kepler’s Somnium, which takes place on the Moon, takes precedence. Somnium was written in 1608 and published in 1634. But it’s up there.
The story starts with a merchant falling for a lady and kidnapping her to avoid the problem or her father’s objections. This does not go over well with God and Nature, and the boat full of kidnappers and the lady gets blown into the extreme northern ocean, where all the men on board die of the terrible bitter cold. The lady survives, and is rescued by creatures walking over the polar ice who are
in shape like Bears, only they went upright as men; those Creatures coming near the Boat, catched hold of it with their Paws, that served them instead of hands;
And then they realize that she’s not going to handle the cold of their island very well, so they take her
into another Island of a warmer temper; in which were men like Foxes, only walking in an upright shape, who received their neighbours the Bear-men with great civility and Courtship, very much admiring this beauteous Lady;
And shortly thereafter
they came into an Island where there were Men which had heads, beaks and feathers, like wild-Geese, onely they went in an upright shape, like the Bear-men and Fox-men: their rumps they carried between their legs, their wings were of the same length with their Bodies, and their tails of an indifferent size, trailing after them like a Ladie’s Garment;
And that is the moment at which I realized THEY HAD FURRIES IN 1666.