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Angel with wings and wolf in robes, on blue cover of 'From Angels to Werewolves, Human-Animal Hybrids in Myth and Art', by Abbeville Press.

From Angels to Werewolves

Human-Animal Hybrids in Myth and Art

By (author) Philip F. Palmedo


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  • The first book in decades to survey this perennially fascinating topic
  • The highly readable text examines each of the main categories of human-animal hybrids in turn, from animal-headed humans to merpeople to shapeshifters.
  • Draws on myth and folklore from throughout history and around the world
  • Illustrated in colour with an equally diverse array of artworks
  • Many resonances with popular culture, from the Twilight series to the mermaid and furry fandoms
Full Description

The alluring mermaids sighted by lonely mariners. The winged angels, by turns avenging and comforting, that abound in Christian art. The fearsome Minotaur of Greek mythology. Animal-headed deities, from the elephant-headed Ganesha in India to the falcon-headed Horus in ancient Egypt. An enigmatic cave painting representing a possibly shamanic figure with the hindparts of a man and the foreparts of a stag. As far back as we go in human history, we find therianthropes, or animal-human hybrids. In this thoughtful volume, Philip F. Palmedo surveys each of the major categories of therianthrope in turn — from animal-headed beings to merpeople to shape-shifters — with particular attention to their roles in religion, folklore, and the popular consciousness. With well-chosen colour illustrations, he demonstrates how artists of all eras have shaped our conception of these mythical beings. Palmedo closes the book by theorising about the ultimate origin and meaning of therianthropes, placing them at the nexus of our close ancestral relationship with the animal world. From Angels to Werewolves will fascinate anyone with an interest in myth, fantasy, or the human-animal bond.

About the Author

Philip F. Palmedo studied art history and physics as an undergraduate at Williams College, and received his PhD in nuclear engineering from MIT. Retired from a distinguished career as a research scientist and entrepreneur, Palmedo is the author of several books on art, most recently The Experience of Modern Sculpture: A Guide to Enjoying Works of the Past 100 Years.

Look Inside
Abbeville Press
16th Aug 2023
World excluding USA, Canada, Puerto Rico, and Australia
254 mm x 203 mm
144 Pages
108 color
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