We have updated our Privacy Policy Please take a moment to review it. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the terms of our updated Privacy Policy.

Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781474619011

Price: £20

ON SALE: 29th August 2024

Genre: Humanities / History / General & World History

Disclosure: If you buy products using the retailer buttons above, we may earn a commission from the retailers you visit.

The hydra rears its many heads in a flurry of teeth and poisonous fumes. The cyborg lays waste to humanity with a ruthless, expressionless stare.

From ancient mythology to modern science fiction, we have had to confront the monsters that lurk in the depths of our collective imagination. They embody our anxieties and our irrational terrors, giving form to what we don’t wish to know or understand. For millennia, monsters have helped us to manage the extraordinary complexity of our minds and to deal with the challenges of being human.

In Enchanted Creatures, Natalie Lawrence delves into 15,000 years of imaginary beasts and uncovers the other-worldly natural history that has evolved with our deepest fears and fascinations. Join Lawrence on a tour of prehistoric cave monsters, serpentine hybrids, deep-sea leviathans and fire-breathing Kaiju. Discover how this monstrous menagerie has shaped our minds, our societies and how we see our place in nature.


Enchanted Creatures is a thrilling, wide-ranging and profound exploration into the things of darkness that humanity would do well to acknowledge as parts of itself
CASPAR HENDERSON, author of The Book of Barely Imagined Beings
Enchanted Creatures plumbs the depths of science, mythology, art and human psychology, inviting us to question everything we know about the nature of chaos and control, the monsters lurking in the darkness, in broad daylight and within our own minds. It expertly weaves together the threads of academia with spellbinding storytelling and beautiful illustrations. This is a book to read with the lights on
TIFFANY FRANCIS-BAKER, author of DARK SKIES: A Journey into the Wild Night
Each of us carries within us a feared or favourite monster from our childhood, whether the beast under the bed or the shadow of a predator long since lost from the literal world. In her powerful book, Lawrence surfaces these imaginative and real creatures, and beautifully clarifies their importance to us. In so doing, she confronts us with existential anxieties that resonate in an age of climate grief, but she also shows us the hope to be found glinting between the scales
MELANIE CHALLENGER, author of HOW TO BE ANIMAL: A New History of What It Means to Be Human
Wide-ranging and full of passion for the pernicious and downright peculiar monsters we have dreamed up over thousands of years. It's scary what the mind can conjure
Daisy Dunn, author of THE MISSING THREAD
In this fascinating book, Natalie Lawrence takes us on a riveting tour of the monsters which have long occupied human minds and cultures, and which reveal a huge amount about who we are and where we have come from
MERLIN SHELDRAKE, author of Entangled Life
Monsters are an emergent property of us, our society, our history; the way we secretly think about our place in the world. Lawrence explores this idea with wonderful skill and perfect pacing. I couldn't put it down
JULES HOWARD, author of Infinite Life
An exhilarating romp through the bestiary of history by one of our finest guides of the creatural world. Ranging deftly from the Mesopotamian Epic of Creation to Godzilla reboots and therianthropic raves, Lawrence - like Joseph Campbell and Marina Warner before her - reveals the monstrous in the human and the humanity waiting to be rediscovered in the monster's eyes
Beautifully written, completely engaging, dazzlingly wide-ranging. Enchanted Creatures is underpinned by great intellectual brilliance, and a masterful command of detail and theory
A thrilling, compellingly readable account of the biology of the creatures that squirm, crawl, gallop and prowl through your subconscious. Read it to know what you really are
CHARLES FOSTER, author of Cry of the Wild