Curious Creatures in Zoology: Illustrated Legends and Myths from Around the World (Paperback)
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This richly illustrated volume offers a feast for the imagination with its fascinatingly odd menagerie of creatures both real and imaginary. Victorian author John Ashton assembled historical accounts of everything from centaurs and unicorns to narwhals and wolves by authors such as Pliny, the ancient Roman naturalist, and Edward Topsell, a 17th-century English clergyman. These credulous treatments provide abundant amusement for modern readers.
The compilation ranges from the more familiar creatures such as dragons, griffins, and mermen to now-obscure beings: the lamia, the lamb-tree, the moon woman, and the circhos, to name a few. Some tales offer unusual takes on swans, bears, cats, and other ordinary animals. Since underwater exploration was impractical until the 20th century, a particularly rich vein of folklore centers on sea creatures. Dating from approximately 1890, this fascinating volume is profusely illustrated with 130 images. A detailed index provides easy reference.
About the Author
English author and historian John Ashton (1834-1911) was born in London and lived in the great city all his life, spending countless hours in the British Museum researching the social and cultural lives of earlier generations. He produced his first book in 1882, and thereafter published a new book every year for more than 20 years.