This is a lavishly-illustrated and embellished collection, which contains songs, verses and prose about unicorns, dragons, centaurs, flying horses and other fabulous creatures of myth and legend. It contains extracts from some of literature's greatest writers, academics and historians, including Virgil, Ovid, Herodotus, Sir Thomas Browne, H.A. Guerber, Edward Topsell, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Lewis Carroll, Charles Kingsley and William Morris. It covers fine art paintings that include works by Reubens, Botticelli, Castagno, Giovanni-Battista, Morris, Caravaggio, Durer, Burne-Jones, Moreau, Dore and Bouttats. Monsters, grotesques, fabulous birds, exotic hybrids - the beasts of myth and legend are curious creations of imagination, superstition and fear. Conjured up to inhabit fairytales and fables, these creatures have become archetypes and symbols for every form of human emotion and attribute - from fear and love to anger and desire. From the power of the invincible, isolated Minotaur, to the phoenix doomed to be the only one of its kind in eternal regeneration, mythical beasts represent the terrors of life, loneliness, rejection, violence, exile. But they can also epitomize mystery, beauty and fun - the untamed majesty of Pegasus; a party of mischievous satyrs; unicorns soothed by medieval maidens; mermaids dancing through the waves. This book celebrates the place of these creatures in the history of art, literature and folk tales, and their significant role in shaping our psychological lives.