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190 × 135 × 20 mm
240 pages
119 illustrations, 71 in colour
01 May 2010

Lion Deirdre Jackson

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.

‘will appeal even to those who would never normally pick up a book on the natural world.’ — Mary Beard, The Guardian 'Books of the Year'

‘Considering that 30-odd titles have appeared in Reaktion's superbly realised Animals series, it has taken a surprising time to reach the king of beasts. Still, it was worth the wait. Jackson has produced a fascinating volume of leonine revelations . . . she provides plenty for big cat lovers to purr about.’ — The Independent

‘More than 35 monographs have now been published in the Reaktion Series on animals, and Lion is no different from the rest in being professionally written, beautifully illustrated, and having as its theme the history of the relationship between humans and a single species of animal. In this book it is the relationship over the centuries between humans and lions or rather, it could be said, between the two master predators.’ — Anthrozoös

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Deirdre Jackson works in the Department of Manuscripts at the British Library and is a Fellow of the Zoological Society of London (ZSL).


1   Lions at Large
2   Captive Cats
3   Lion Lore and Legend
4   In Pursuit of the Lion
5   Golden Remnant

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