01/04/2007. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts
pub: Facts, Figures & Fun/AAPPL. 95 illustrated page small hardback. Price: £ 5.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-904332-68-8.
check out website: www.ffnt.co.uk
What is a unicorn? The white horse with a horn on its head of fantasy? A chimera composite of various animals? A one-horned gazelle or more probably a glamorised rhinoceros. This book by Nigel Suckling covers the world looking at unicorns.
They appear in the mythology of many countries imbuing this fabled animal with all sorts of properties, especially associated with its horn. The only thing missing is if a horse had such a long horn on its head, it would find it very difficult to bend down to eat grass. Then again, as a beast of mythology none of that really matters.
What is surprising is where the unicorn appears, including the Bible of all places. Its also been the source of many a con game where a narwhal tooth (you can't pluralised cos there is only one to each animal0 has been frequently sold to the unwitting in the past simply because they didn't know any better. If anything, the myth of its potency has been extended to that of other animals which probably contributed to vast sums for rhino horns which are only hair after all.
If you want to be an expert on unicorns, then you can't help coming away from this book knowing a lot more than when you started. Probably the most interesting thing I didn't know was how the unicorn and lion appear on Great Britain's heraldry arms. I could tell you why here but then you wouldn't buy the book and at this price its affordable to all anyway. This book is certainly going to make you an instant expert on the subject.
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