The Natural History of Unicorns

by Chris Lavers

On Sale: 07/20/2010

The Natural History of Unicorns

by Chris Lavers

On Sale: 07/20/2010


About the Book

“Lavers keeps his intellectual detective story passionate and suspenseful.”
— Washington Post Book World


From Biblical stories about virgins to adventures with Harry Potter, unicorns have enchanted people for millennia. In the endlessly fascinating The Natural History of Unicorns, author Chris Lavers ingeniously traces the legend of this mysterious creature to the real people, places, and animals that have influenced its story.

Critical Praise

“In this lively survey, Lavers explores the roots and the evolution of Ctesias’ elusive beast... Lavers capably balances tales of individual enthusiasts with broader cultural considerations to show how the unicorn’s ‘connections with our myth-making reveal much about our engagement with the natural world.’” — The New Yorker

“Lively, compelling, full of anecdote, wry scepticism and an honest humility about the things it is simply impossible for us to know for certain. . . . The book, like its subject, is not quite one thing nor another, but a fascinating hybrid.” — The Guardian

“A vivid and highly readable trek following the trail of this elusive beast.” — Booklist

“Lavers ingeniously tracks the myth-making of the unicorn. . . . Lavers’s enthusiasm is infectious . . . an elegant, colorful guide to the unicorn’s myth, marvel, and the ties that have bound it to human progress.” — Kirkus Reviews (Starred)

“Intriguing. …The history of a non-existent animal is, by definition, a series of diversions from actuality, and, by reversing that trajectory, Lavers’ book takes us to some fascinating places.” — Financial Times

“The origin of the species and its later fame told in lore and legend is cleverly told.” — The Times (London)

“Whimsical, scholarly and continually absorbing.” — The Spectator

“Chris Lavers has done it again. A fascinating, intelligent and unusual book. From the first page I was completely hooked.” — Pat Shipman, author of Femme Fatale

“Chris Lavers traces our fascination with the idea of a one-horned horse back 2,000 years in this scholarly history of unicorns … The history of the unicorn shows human beings at our imaginative best and our manipulative worst.” — Daily Telegraph (London)

“A mind opening work of intricate scholarship. If unicorns do exist I hope they never catch one. A great read that will grace my library.” — Professor David Bellamy



Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780060874155
  • ISBN 10: 0060874155
  • Imprint: Harper Perennial
  • On Sale: 07/20/2010
  • Pages: 272
  • List Price:19.99 CAD
  • BISAC1 : NATURE / Animals / General
  • BISAC2 : HISTORY / General
  • BISAC3 : SCIENCE / Natural History
  • BISAC4 : NATURE / Animals / Wildlife
  • BISAC5 : SOCIAL SCIENCE / Folklore & Mythology

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