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Majestic, noble, brave - judging from the wealth of myth, lore and legend surrounding them, lions have occupied a greater place in our imagination than any other animal. Throughout the course of time, human and lion have crossed paths and whether the result was happy or tragic, one thing is for certain - the event was memorable. Although the lion is not the largest, fastest or most dangerous animal, its position as king of beasts has rarely been challenged. Since Palaeolithic times, lions have fascinated people, and with its tawny pelage and luminous eyes, the animal continues to beguile us today.
In "Lion", Deirdre Jackson paints a fresh picture of this regal beast, drawing on folktales, the latest scientific research, lion-tamers' memoirs, and other little-known sources. Famous lions are not left out in the cold, but greater attention is paid to less familiar stories. Recurrent and universal themes, such as the guardian lion, are explored alongside lesser-known traditions and tales specific to particular cultures. Painted on wood and canvas, chiselled in stone, hammered in metal and tucked between the pages of medieval manuscripts, lions abound in visual culture. "Lion" summarizes the latest findings of field biologists and offers in-depth analyses of works of art, literature, oral traditions, plays and films.
Preface Introduction 1 Lions at Large 2 Captive Cats 3 Lion Lore and Legend 4 In Pursuit of the Lion 5 Golden Remnant Timeline References Select Bibliography Associations and Websites Acknowledgements Photo Acknowledgements Index
Deirdre Jackson is a project officer at the Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts in the British Library and a former research associate at the University of Oxford. She is also the author of Marvellous to Behold: Miracles in Medieval Manuscripts.