Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Lore of the Unicorn: Now Available!
This work is pure rationalism circa the early 20th century. Penned by Odell Shepard, it goes to great lengths in being as detailed as possible, not limiting itself by time period or region. Speaking of lore as separate as that of Africa and India, the tale of the unicorn (or alicorn) is rendered not simply to a misunderstood and real beast here, but takes on a wider symbology and meaning.
The most interesting component of Shepard's work here though is medicinal and related to medieval folklore; the unicorn horn (variously the horn of a rhinoceros or narwhal, and sometimes that of an antelope or even a chunk of petrified wood) was rumored in those days to sweat in the presence of any poison and to act as a souped-up sort of bezoar taken internally. The content is at times dense, and it draws on many primary sources both antiquated and then-modern.