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Distributed for University of Wales Press

Introducing the Medieval Swan

A wide-ranging account of the place of the swan in medieval culture.

Swans possess a striking beauty, and they are imbued with a sense of regal mystery that makes them some of the most fascinating of wild creatures. Introducing the Medieval Swan traces those characteristics to their roots in the medieval era. Opening with a study of the natural history of the swan as understood in the period, the book then moves to literary motifs that feature swans transforming into humans, particularly the legend of the Knight of the Swan. The third chapter examines the place of the swan as an icon of the Lancasters, and the book then explores the swan’s place as a delicacy at extravagant feasts. Finally, we learn how the characteristics the medieval era associated with swans developed over the centuries to the present.

184 pages | 11 color plates, 19 halftones | 5 x 7 3/4

Medieval Animals

Medieval Studies

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"A must have for those with an interest in medieval history and/or swans."

Birdbooker Report

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