Saturday, September 17, 2011


Unicorns Title: Europa's fairy book Author: Joseph Jacobs. Illustrated (Unicorns) by: John Dickson Batten (October 8, 1860 - August 5, 1932). Publisher: G. P. Putnam's sons, 1916. Original from: the University of Michigan. Digitized: Aug 17, 2006. Length: 264 pages. Subjects: Fairy tales.

This Image (or other media file) is in the public domain because its copyright has expired. This applies to the United States, where Works published prior to 1923 are copyright protected for a maximum of 75 years. See Circular 1 "COPYRIGHT BASICS" PDF from the U.S. Copyright Office. Works published before 1923 (in this case 1886) are now in the public domain.

This image is also in the public domain in countries that figure copyright from the date of death of the artist (post mortem auctoris) in this case John Dickson Batten (October 8, 1860 - August 5, 1932) and that most commonly runs for a period of 50 to 70 years from the last day of that year.

A Belief in the unicorn, like that in the dragon, appears to have obtained among both Eastern and Western authors, at a very early period. In this case, however, it has survived the revulsion from a fatuous confidence in the fables and concocted specimens of the Middle Ages, and even now the existence or non-existence of this remarkable animal remains a debateable question.


Until within a late period occasional correspondents of the South African journals continued to assert its existence, basing their communications on the reports of hunters from the interior, while but a few hundred years since travellers spoke of actually seeing it or of passing through countries in which its existence was absolutely affirmed to them. Horns, generally those of the narwhal, but occasionally of one species of rhinoceros, were brought home and deposited in museums as those of the veritable unicorn, or sold, under the same pretext, for large sums, on account of their reputed valuable medicinal properties.* The animal is variously described as resembling a horse or some kind of deer; this description may possibly refer to some animal of a type intermediate to them, now almost, if not quite, extinct. In some instances it is supposed that a species of rhinoceros is indicated.

TEXT CREDIT: Mythical monsters By Charles Gould

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