Comprising a zoological selection from Edward Topsell’s The Historie of Foure-footed Beastes (1607) and The Historie of Serpents (1608), The Elizabethan Zoo was edited by twentieth-century historian and scholar of Tudor England, Muriel St. Clare Byrne. The book depicts zoological creatures, both real and mythical, ranging from Lions to Lamias. Combining natural history, folklore, and mythology, Byrne’s Zoo represents each creature with a reproduction of Topsell’s woodblock illustration hovering above a description transcribed verbatim from the original text. Fabulous creatures sit side-by-side with specimens from far-off locals relatively unknown in seventeenth-century England, provoking the modern reader to question the purpose of Byrne’s republication of this curious content.
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