Friday, May 11, 2007

Explore Dragons

Richard Freeman is the Zoological Director of the Center for Fortean Zoology; formerly the Head of Reptiles at England's Twycross Zoo; a lover of doom-laden, Goth-driven music; a good friend of mine; and an acknowledged expert on the subject of dragons.

His first book on the subject was Dragons: More Than A Myth?; and that has now been followed by his latest title: Explore Dragons, published by Heart of Albion Press.

If you are in any way, shape or form interested in tales of dragons, as well as the facts, fiction, mythology, folklore and more pertaining to this often overlooked aspect of cryptozoology, then this is a book definitely worth investing in.

Whereas Richard's first book focused upon account of dragons that spanned the entire globe, Explore Dragons - for the most part - tackles those accounts that originate within the British Isles, such as the famous Lambton Worm; the story of St. George and the Dragon and other reported "dragon slayers;" as well as encounters with such beasts in surprisingly recent times.

The book also includes an excellent summary of the various locations around the UK from where dragons have been reported - a very welcome addition for those interested in traveling to some of the sites in question.

Richard also addresses the crucial question of: "What are dragons?" As the reader will learn, countless creatures may have led to the creation of the image of the dragon that we know today. However - interestingly enough - that doesn't mean that such literal creatures did not exist in some form, as Richard intriguingly demonstrates.

The book is also packed with superb drawings and useful photographs. But for me, it is Richard's sheer breadth of knowledge on the subject; as well as his passion for the history, legends and folkloric aspects of all-things dragon-like in merry old England that shines through.

From the ancient town of Glastonbury to the mysterious depths of the nation's lakes and lochs; and from Britain of centuries-past to the present day, this is an excellent study of a phenomenon undertaken by someone with a true enthusiasm for their subject matter.

Readers outside of the UK should note that Explore Dragons is only available from Britain; and therefore if you wish to purchase a copy, it is recommended that you contact the publisher Bob Trubshaw for shipping rates, payment methods, etc. at

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