Bestiaries are the most gloriously entertaining books to have come
from the Middle Ages. Written and illuminated by monks, they
describe every creature though to exist in the medieval world and
include all manner of fish, fowl, and mythological beast, however
Pauline Baynes, whose original line illustrations for J. R. R.
Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" and C. S. Lewis's "The Lion, the
Witch and the Wardrobe" are known to millions, has revived twenty
medieval and mischievous beasts, basing her tongue-in-cheek
descriptions on various English bestiaries. Her delightful
recreations of these fabulous beasts -- from phoenix to manticore,
from bonnacon to yale -- hop, swoop, and gallop through the pages
in antique splendor, and will charm today's readers as readily as
they astounded audiences centuries ago.
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