Hardcover sales of than , copies have made the Encyclopedia of Things That Never Were a classic illustrated reference to myths and legends from all corners of the world Hereculled from mythology, literature, and folk talesis the mystical realm that has populated humanity's imagination for centuries Overentries, engagingly written and organized by type of entity, make this a complete source of information and a visual feast Among the entries are: from The Cosmos, Quetzalcoatl and Scorpio; from The Ground and Underground, centaurs, elves, and unicorns; from Wonderland, Atlantis and El Dorado; from Magic, Science, and Invention, flying carpets and the Trojan horse; from Water, Sky, and Air, Pegasus and MobyDick; and from The Night, a host of shuddersome creatures from vampires to the golem This is a wild and wondrous gift for any visionary

10 thoughts on “Encyclopedia of Things That Never Were: Creatures, Places, and People

  1. Valis_9 Valis_9 says:

    This book is what I class as a 'gem' in the book world. I define a book
    'gem' is one that you can reread many times, waste of hours of the day admiring, and one that is kept for years on years through childhood to adulthood because of sentimental value. As I would never part with this book,for a number of reasons.

    1) It has a comprehensive and varied number of entries.
    2) The Illustrations beautifully accompany the entries, and are both imaginative and detailed.
    3) It is a source of inspiration, from daydreaming to art or writing.
    4) It is unique, and I would buy while you can get it relatively cheap for a good condition.

    The actual content in this book is sorted out into things of the cosmos, the ground and underground,the sea and air, of inventions of science, and of night. My favourite section is of the ground and underground, with entries such as Blue Annis, the old hag of the moor lands her devourers the lost in her bower situated in the moors. And the Redcap, the hobgoblin who has a tendency to die his accessories with his victims blood, but can be conquered with biblical reference. My favourite piece of art in the book is of the wondering soul Abiku, the texture and bleakness of the dusk is just so fitting for this futile creature.

    A must have for those who have an interest in mythology, history, literature, or the well being of their imagination. Because your imagination needs to be stretched and exercised, and this book is a yoga session followed by a day at the gym.

  2. J J says:

    I can't quite describe my love for this book. It's wonderfully researched, lovingly illustrated, and I've referenced it many a time for that obscure branch of folklore that I can't quite find the term for. Plus, there's a lot here concerning imaginary lands I'd never heard of, but would love to visit.

  3. Gareth Pengelly Gareth Pengelly says:

    'There is a world just around the corner of your mind, where reality is an intruder and dreams come true... You may escape into it at will. You need no secret password, no magic want or Aladdin's lamp; only your own imagination and curiosity... about things that never were.'

    I've got a huge beast of a hardback edition of this book, gifted me by my grandfather in the early nineties. He'd rescued it out of a bin at the university where he worked.

    I haven't a clue why someone would chuck this thing out; it was quite possibly the most influential book ever on my young mind.

    This book is chock-full of myths and legends from around the world. From ancient Aztec gods, to Unicorns, from Tengus and Knackers to Frankenstein's monster, they're all here.

    But what really, REALLY made an impact on my young mind was how the book is written; the style is that of a real encyclopedia, in that everything contained therein is written as though it were fact, not fiction. My young mind was boggled, my eyes popping out of their sockets as I read about Wendigos, Brownies, Kelpies and Redcaps as though they were real, living, breathing creatures that lived out there in the world, hidden, unseen, ready to pounce.

    The possibilities seemed endless.

    My copy is sat here, not three feet away. It looks sorry for itself, now; the spine is falling to bits. I've had a look at how much it'd cost to rebind it. Turns out, quite a lot.

    I could buy a new one, I suppose, for far less than it would cost to recover this one. But you know what? I probably won't. I'll probably just get this one rebound. It's had such an impact on my life, provided such fuel for the fires of my imagination.

    One day I'll hopefully have children and I can pass it on to them, that they, too, might read in wonder about things that never were.

  4. Sally Sally says:

    398.356 Pag Oversize

    Wow, an encyclopedia of not only magical, but mythical creatures as well. Roman, Greek, Norse, witches, fairies, Native American. Great fun, especially for myth-ignoramuses like me.

  5. P.S. Winn P.S. Winn says:

    Great illustrated book of myths and legends that readers can dive into and be amazed.

  6. Meg Meg says:

    I grew up with this book. A dream of a book for anyone with a curiosity for good stories from all cultures. Legends, dreams and monsters complete with gorgeous illustrations....

  7. Brian Brian says:

    I fell in love with this in high school. Everything from Odin to Moby Dick. Could have used a little less Gulliver, and maybe a mention of Lovecraft.

  8. Angela Angela says:

    Beautiful, inspiring book! Glad to have found it.

  9. Roger Bailey Roger Bailey says:

    This book consists mainly of short articles describing various imaginary creatures and places from the folklore of cultures around the world. There are the expected elves, pixies, trolls and other monsters. There are also some lesser known beings and places. What bothers me is that even though most of these imaginary things are from folklore and legends there are also some imaginary things from literature among them. Somehow the beings and places from Gulliver's Travels or Moby Dick seem out of place and would fit in better in their own encyclopedia. I also find myself asking just how did the author choose the literary works to represent. As a science fiction and fantasy reader I can think of very many things that never were that were not and could not be included. To do so would have meant a multi-volume encyclopedia that would have filled a large library by itself. If the criterion was that the literary work be a recognized classic there was still a lot of classics left out. Then, even if all the literary references were to be accepted as fitting in, there was another entry that even more glaringly seemed out of place. It was a real estate scam. Yes, people were sold real estate and when they showed up to claim their newly purchased property it turned out that it did not exist. For one thing, I ask just how did the author pick out that one scam out of the many scams that have been perpetrated over the years? Then I ask just what place does that have in a book about folklore and even imaginary places and creatures from literature? It is not like the entire book is unfocused. Even though the legends and myths were highly varied the topic was still legends and myths. However, these insertions of articles about things that were not legends and myths was just frequent enough to be irritating.

  10. Feamelwen Feamelwen says:

    One of those astounding moments when you find, once again, a book from your childhood, breathing in the memories of the text : heavily trunkated, heavily edited, translated from english.

    It was this book. I read when I was seven, in first grade. Got it as a gift after winning some price at school in a drawing contest (no idea how I managed to win a drawing contest).

    I remember that the imaginary places entries were what amazed me the most.

    In those years, arthurian legend, dark spells, undersea kingdoms, headless monsters all seemed to exist somewhere, a place I could think of while shivering in delight.

    Oh how the world has shrunk.