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Dragons: A Natural History Hardcover – November, 1995


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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

If you ever encounter a dragon, it would be good to have this book on hand. Thanks to it, you will be able to recognize the particular species of the beast you have met, whether worm, basilisk, cockatrice, tarasque, peluda, or mere dragonet. Knowing such information could keep you from accidentally feeding a baby wyvern, as a girl named Maud did in Herefordshire, whereupon it grew into a winged monster that terrorized the countryside until it was finally dispatched by a fearless knight. Charmingly written and gorgeously illustrated with dragons ranging from Babylonian Ishtar's guard dragon as portrayed in mosaic bas-relief to Quetzalcoatl in Mayan codices to the creature Saint George famously fought, this is an excellent popular folklore tome. Patricia Monaghan
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (November 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684814439
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684814438
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 7.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #290,544 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 9, 2001
Format: Hardcover
As both a professional graphics designer and a fan of all things dragonian, I cannot praise this book enough! It is one of the most beautiful-looking books I have ever seen, and for dragon lovers everywhere it is THE book to get if you want to have all the best illustrations of dragons together in one book. With page after page of glorious full-colour masterpieces by such artistic geniuses as Leonardo da Vinci, Uccello, Fuseli, and many other world-famous classic painters, as well as modern artists like Arthur Rackham, it is very difficult to take your eyes away from the pics and read the text! But you should do, because Shuker does a great job retelling famous and not-so-famous dragon legends and folkstories, and adding lots of fascinating factual info too. If there is anyone out there who doesn't like this book, especially its artwork, they have no understanding or love of art or beauty, because this wonderful book is filled with both. A real joy and treasure to view and to own. Well done to the author and the publishers! And don't take too long before you bring out another one like it!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Andrew W. Johns VINE VOICE on August 4, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book includes a wonderful collection of dragon related artwork, including pictures of paintings, engravings, and figurines dating through the ages. This is a great overview of the scope of mankind's imagination about dragons.

Unfortunately, the text was a little disappointing. I was hoping for a bit more detail about the history of dragonlore and how it has evolved through the ages. Instead, this is largely a collection of disparate dragon legends and myths. Its not bad for what it is, but isn't what I was expecting.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jen White on November 6, 2003
Format: Hardcover
One of the reviewers of this book has denigrated the illustrations. This is hard to understand as the glorious illustrations are one of the many highlights of this book. I think the reviewer may be thinking of another book on dragons with a similar cover. Karl Shuker's book, however, includes a wonderful selection of excellent paintings and illustrations from artists which include da Vinci and others.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By thehnybny@aol.com on June 7, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Fans of DR. Shuker should be advised that this book is about dragons as they are thought of in culture and mythology. While an excellent text in that area, it is not a book in his usual field of cryptozoology.
Many people who have read other works by the author will expect the book to be about surviving dinosaurs, winged serpents, and other dragonlike entities reported to exist in parts of Africa and elsewhere. anyone expecting this will come away disapointed.
If you are a fan of cryptozoology, this book is not for you. If however, you are looking for mythological references and the like, you will be very pleased with this book. in that regard, it is unsurpassed.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Cynthia Beilmann on October 13, 1999
Format: Hardcover
A wounderful addition for the student of mythology and folklore or just anyone who likes dragons. The stories are well written and a pleasure to read. Has great descriptions on well known dragons as well as not so well known dragons. Also includes thoughts on what may have inspired the different dragon myths. I just love this book.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 30, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book is pretty good, but it's not what the title says. It is not a 'natural history' of dragons. It's more of a collection of dragon myths. I thought it would be a natural history. It's really not. If you want something like that, get Karin Johnsgard's 'Dragons and Unicorns: a Natural History'. Karl Shuker's book is a good collection of myths, however,and I suggest it to dragon lovers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Magickal Merlin on September 24, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Is it not strange that all the ancient cultures,had a "Dragon Myth" ? And that their developing civilizations had no real contact with each other,since human migration over the dividing 'pan-gaia', continued on. Well,this book is the best dragon book ,that i have read yet.You be the judge!
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