Mythical and fabulous creatures : a source book and research guide /

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Bibliographic Details
Imprint:New York : Greenwood Press, 1987.
Description:xlix, 393 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
Subject:Animals, Mythical
Animals, Mythical.
Format: Print Book
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Hidden Bibliographic Details
Other authors / contributors:South, Malcolm, 1937-
ISBN:0313243387 (lib. bdg. : alk. paper)
Notes:Includes bibliographies and index.
Review by Choice Review

Essays by 18 contributors about 20 imaginary creatures provide information on their probable origins, symbolism, legends, and appearances in history, literature, and art. All the creatures, including those mentioned in a catchall essay for lesser-known beings, are accessible through a meticulous index, which also includes literary references in the text. Excellent bibliographies follow each essay, and a glossary and a taxonomy of creatures are appended. Most of the material is drawn from Indo-European sources, with occasional references to the Far East, North America, and Africa. ``Literature'' begins with the most ancient texts and continues to current fantasy novels, while ``art'' includes painting, sculpture, jewelry, movies, and TV. This makes for wonderfully serendipitous bibliographies, containing such unlikely combinations as Ovid, Joseph Campbell, J.R.R. Tolkien, David Attenborough, Joseph Sheridan le Fanu, the Bible, Ursula Le Guin, Pliny, Dungeons and Dragons, Stith Thompson, Piers Anthony, Carl Jung, and E. Nesbit. Although other sources (e.g., Gertrude Jobes's Dictionary of Mythology, Folklore and Symbols, 1961, or Man, Myth and Magic, ed. by Richard Cavendish, new ed., 12v., 1985) will serve for quick definitions and a few references, this book provides thorough documentation of the best-known creatures of fantasy with a breadth of coverage that is both impressive and delightful. Recommended for all libraries supporting research in mythology, fantasy, folklore, or popular culture.-M.R. Pukkila, Colby College

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Choice Review