This is an absolute delight of a book and is a must for anyone who dreams of unicorns, centaurs and giants, or reads children's or fantasy literature. A Natural History of the Unnatural World
provides a mass of information on "the strange creatures who lurk in the dark and mysterious corners of planet Earth ... the unusual-even mythical--creatures that populate the globe". It was produced under the auspices of The Cryptozoological Society of London. The subsequently fascinating and enchanting volume is a mine of information, entertaining and sometimes quite hilarious anecdotes and newspaper clippings, about everything from giant spiders and cockroaches to dragons, unicorns, fairies, goblins and elves. The voyages of such heroes as Odysseus, Sinbad and Hercules are also given considerable scrutiny. The book is beautifully illustrated, and each entry is treated with a mixture of suitable reverence, respect and a certain amount of tongue-in-cheek, as seen in the headlines--Sirens: "Killing me Softly", Gorgons: "Having a Bad Hair Day", Harpy: "Hell Hath No Fury", Giants: "The Mile High Club". This is a terrific read for adult and child alike and is the perfect accessory to some of the excellent children's or fantasy literature currently available, including Skellig
, the Harry Potter books, Philip Pullman
's novels and many others. --Aruna Vasudevan
This imaginative guide uses first hand accounts, historical records, works of literature and art, and the imaginative insights of the scientifically trained author to detail the evolution, habits, life cycles, reproductive behaviour and specialised abilities of dozens of fabled beings. How does a dragon breathe fire? And what is the difference between a wyvern and a dragon? How would you capture a unicorn? How might you survive an encounter with a giant squid? Could you tell the difference between a Yeti and a Bigfoot? Do aliens exist? Covering creatures from basilisks and gryphons to mermaids and werewolves, this is a compendium of the beloved creatures of myth and legend, of amazing animals and mind-boggling monsters. It illustrates the field notes of scientists and explorers, far-flung reports of sightings and miscellaneous sources, with over 600 drawings and photographs of supporting evidence. Drawing on the research of the 150 year old Cryptozoological Society of London, it will tell you everything you might like to know - but were afraid to ask!