FANTASTIC FISH TABLE OF CONTENTS
"The noble lyfe & nature of man, Of bestes, serpentys, fowles & fisshes y be moste knowen"
A late-medieval manuscript translated into modern English, with period illustrations.
Here are the fantastic and incredible fish of the Middle Ages, which populated both the waters and the imagination of the medieval world. Real creatures still familar to us, such as the salmon and the crayfish will be found here, but you will also read of such fabulous specimens as the Abremon, which propagated without intercourse, the Ezox, so large that a four-horsed cart could not carry one away, and the Nereydes, sea monsters that cried whenever one of them died.
Fantastic Fish of the Middle Ages is from Lawrens Andrewe's "The noble lyfe & nature of man, Of bestes, serpentys, fowles & fisshes y be moste knowen" as reprinted in The Boke of Nurture by Frederick J. Furnivall, 1894. Andrewe's original work was printed sometime between 1400 & 1550.
The modern English translations of Andrewe's text are by James L. Matterer.
The illustrations come from two Dover Books: Curious Woodcuts of Fanciful and Real Beasts & Medieval Life Illustrations.
And now here is Lawrens Andrewe's "The noble lyfe & nature of man, Of bestes, serpentys, fowles & fisshes y be moste knowen" as reprinted in Frederick J. Furnivall's 1894 edition of The Boke of Nurture:
Extracts about fish from
"A very rare black-letter book, without date, and hitherto undescribed, except perhaps incorrectly by Ames (vol. 1, p. 412, and vol. 3, p. 1531), has been lent to me by Mr. Algernon Swinburne. Its title is given above: 'The noble lyfe and natures of man' is in large red letters, and the rest in smaller black ones, all surrounded by woodcuts of the wonderul animals, mermaids, serpents, birds, quadrupeds with men's and women's heads, a stork with its neck tied in a knot, and each other beatss 'y be most knowen.' The illustrations to each chapter are wonderfully quaint. The author of it says in his Prologus:
'In the name of ower sauiour criste Iesu, maker & redemour of al mankynd, I Lawrens Andrewe of the towne of Calis haue translated for Johannes does-borrowe, booke prenter in the cite of Andwarpe, this present volume deuyded in thre partes, which were neuer before in no maternall langage prentyd tyl now .'
As it is doubtful whether another copy of the book is known, I extract from from the Third Part of this incomplete one such notices of the fish mentioned by Russell or Wynkyn de Worde, as it contains, with a few others for curiousity's sake."
Frederick J. Furnivall, 1894.
Here after followeth of the natures of the fisshes of the See whiche be right profitable to be vnderstande. Wherof I wyll wryte be the helpe and grace of almighty god, to whose laude & prayse this mater ensueth. - Lawrens Andrewe
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Subject: fish Date: Mon, 26 Jun 2000 From: Simon Lachance
Do you not know that some while do sing when one of them die you say that like if it where some sort of strange thing that does not happen in nature. And yes there are anamils that "propaget without intercourse, and about the Ezox try to lift or even move one with "a four-horsed cart" and then you a bulldoures so to say that this creatures do not live is very fool-hearted of you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thanks! ...I think....
Curious Woodcuts of Fanciful and Real Beasts: A Selection of 19O Sixteenth-Century Woodcuts from Gesner's and Topsell's Natural Histories by Conrad Gesner, Konrad Gesner, Edmund V., Jr. Gillon (Editor)
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