Majestic, noble, brave – lions, with their tawny coats and luminous eyes, have inspired countless stories, traditions and beliefs. Whether we are seduced by their beauty or drawn to danger, we want to be near them. No other animal has had such an enduring symbolic resonance; lions have been painted on wood and canvas, chiselled in stone, cast in metal and featured on the pages of medieval manuscripts. In this lavishly illustrated book, Deirdre Jackson draws on the latest scientific research, folklore, travel literature, lion tamers’ memoirs and little-known sources to guide readers on a memorable cultural safari.
Roaring lions sound invincible, but like other large, wide-ranging predators they are in danger of disappearing. Poised at the top of the ecological pyramid, these adaptable and gregarious animals have always been far less plentiful than those on which they prey. The vulnerable African lion is now confined to the sub-Sahara, and its Asian cousin is critically endangered. Lion, one of the few books to consider both, traces our relationship with the animals through the centuries and paints a fresh picture of these charismatic creatures.