|About the Book|
These small, beautifully illustrated books with quotations drawn from a wide variety of sources: poetry, plays, letters, diaries as well as ancient bestiaries, give an insight into the nature of the creatures which have beguiled our affections since the earliest times. Fables and superstitions surround animals as an index of the creativity of God. Later writers have come to see animals as individuals, as well as being useful as metaphorical source material for comments on human nature.The rabbit is usually seen as a defenseless, timid creature. Its appearance in medieval art signified hopes of future safety: a symbol of men who put the hope of their salvation in Christ. Rabbits and hares are also associated with procreative enthusiasm and their frequent appearances in pictures of the Madonna symbolize the victory of purity over lust. Their gentleness and sweetness (and their rounded baby-faces) have made them popular with writers for children. Several of the great childrens characters of this century have been rabbits -- from Peter Rabbit to Bugs Bunny -- and they are heroes of poems by writers as diverse as Wordsworth and Abraham Cowley.