The Deorhord: An Old English Bestiary (Hardback)Hana Videen (author)
From walker-weavers to teeth-tyrants, this beguiling bestiary from the author of The Wordhord rediscovers fascinating Old English terms for animals both real and imagined.
Many of the animals we encounter in everyday life, from the creatures in our fields to those in our fantasies, have remained the same since medieval times - but the words we use, and the ways we describe them, have often changed beyond recognition.
Old English was spoken over a thousand years ago, when every animal was a deor. In this glittering Old English bestiary we find deors big and small, the ordinary and the extraordinary, the good, the bad and the downright baffling.
From walker-weavers (spiders) and grey-cloaked ones (eagles) to moon-heads and teeth-tyrants (historians still don't know!), we discover a world both familiar and strange: where ants could be monsters and panthers could be your friend, where dog-headed men were as real as elephants and where whales were as sneaky as wolves. From the author of The Wordhord comes another delightful dive into the realm of Old English - words and creatures that will change the way you see the world.
Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
Number of pages: 352
Weight: 400 g
Dimensions: 136 x 200 x 34 mm
This beautiful, fascinating book casts a warm light on the rich and tangled roots of the English language, and the human fascination with animals in the natural world. Hana Videen's The Deorhord is a treasure trove. - Caspar Henderson, author, The Book of Barely Imagined Beings
For amateur etymologists, armchair philologists and compulsive readers of histories, The Deorhord will set hearts fizzing with joy. - John Wright, author, The Forager's Calendar, The Naming of the Shrew
A beautifully written reminder of the magical and the mystical - a glimpse back in time that uses extraordinary creatures to capture the reader's imagination. - Rebecca Lee, author, How Words Get Good
Immensely absorbing ... a wonderful window to see our familiar words and ideas in new ways that cover them in curious colours. - Victoria Finlay, author, Colour: Travels Through The Paint Box
A treasure trove that the lexicographer Susie Dent might be tempted to plunder - Country Life
Videen is an excellent guide to lost lore ... her endlessly fascinating book is chock-full of archival detective stories - Spectator
For lovers of words and animals alike, this is a book to be devoured with the voracity of the draca (dragon) - Times Literary Supplement
A wonderful way into Old English, opening windows on a lost world that shaped ours and still lives within it. - Ronald Wright, author, A Short History of Progress
Praise for The Wordhord : A marvelous book - Neil Gaiman
Wonderful - Tom Holland
A lovely, lovely read - Lucy Mangan
Splendid - David Crystal
Eminently giftable - James Marriott, The Times
Entertaining and absolutely fascinating - Paul Anthony Jones
Delightful ... a classy gift to the commonly word-drunk - Steven Poole, Guardian
A passionate medievalist and a relaxed, lucid writer; the pleasure she takes in her subject is infectious - Henry Hitchings, Wall Street Journal
A treasure trove ... and beautifully designed - Marshall Julius
A lively linguistic history - BBC History Magazine
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