About the Book
Lavers keeps his intellectual detective story passionate and suspenseful. Washington Post Book WorldFrom 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."
"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.
From the Back Cover
Where did the unicorn come from and how was it accepted for so long as a part of the animal kingdom? Chris Lavers argues that although the unicorn of our imagination isn't real, traces of its character can be found in existing species. In this lively and vivid exploration of the natural world, Lavers follows the beast's trail to the plateaus of India and into the jungles of Africa to unearth the flesh and blood ancestors of our iconic unicorn--and, along the way, he introduces the peoples, historians, explorers, traders, and scientists who steadfastly believed.
"A vivid and highly readable trek following the trail of this elusive beast."--Booklist
"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
"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
"Whimsical, scholarly and continually absorbing."--The Spectator
"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
"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)
"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)
"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
"The origin of the species and its later fame told in lore and legend is cleverly told."--The Times (London)