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Introducing the Medieval Dragon

Author(s): Thomas Honegger

Language: English

Genre(s): Medieval

Series: Medieval Animals

August 2019144 pages198x129mm

Paperback - 9781786834683 eBook - epub - 9781786834706 eBook - mobi - 9781786834713 eBook - pdf - 9781786834690

About The Book

The aim of this book is to explore the characteristics of the medieval dragon and discuss the sometimes differing views found in the relevant medieval text types. Based on an intimate knowledge of the primary texts, the study presents new interpretations of well-known literary works, and also takes into consideration paintings and other depictions of these beasts. Dragons were designed not only to frighten but also to fire the imagination, and provide a suitably huge and evil creature for the hero to overcome – yet there is far more to them than reptilian adversaries. This book introduces the medieval dragon via brief, accurate and clear chapters on its natural history, religion, literature and folklore, and concludes with how the dragon – from Beowulf to Tolkien, Disney and Potter – is constantly revived.


Endorsements

‘This study of the medieval dragon not only provides a detailed examination of the perceived threats to medieval society, but also more broadly sheds telling light on the very nature of medieval culture. Superbly well researched yet also highly accessible, this is scholarship at its best.’
- Dr Martin Arnold, Reader Emeritus, University of Hull

‘A pithy introduction to the weird and wonderful world of medieval dragon lore. Honegger emphasises the diversity and cultural specificity of these fascinating creatures, while also attending to their durability and near universality as symbols. Ranging from literature and learned writings to religious art and folklore, the book is as rich and multifaceted as its subject.’
- Robert Mills, Professor of Medieval Studies, University College London

Contents

Preface
List of illustrations
Introduction
The Dragon and Medieval Scholarship
The Dragon and Medieval Religion
The Medieval Dragon and Folklore
The Dragon and Medieval Literature
Outlook and Conclusion
Endnotes
Further reading
Bibliography
Index

About the Author(s)

Thomas Honegger

Thomas Honegger is Professor for English Medieval Studies at the Friedrich-Schiller-University, Jena (Germany), and has published on animals, on medieval romance and on the work of the late medievalist Professor J. R. R. Tolkien.

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