Monstres and Their Kynde

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And in darknesse they shall come, as do all their kynde. Not of fleshe nor bloode nor bone, they are the very darknesse that we fear!” — British Museum manuscript.

This large, 450+ page volume was originally titled Monstres and Theyr Kynde, Being a Compyled Historie of the Earlie Kings and Druuids, Bifore Christendome Come to These Shores, and Also a Bestiarie of Theyr Unhallowed Servants and the Means by Which They Were Brought Forth and Bound Faste. It is believed to be the work of a 16th century monk who wrote it for a wealthy patron following the dissolution of the English monasteries in 1536. The manuscript is described as “huge, heavy, and the pages brittle and brown . . . [with] no title on the spine or cover.” Only a single folio-sized copy of this handwritten book is known to exist and that was stolen from the British Museum in 1898.

The contents of this book are a jumble of subjects culled by its author from sources ranging from the works of Herodotus and Diodorus Sicilus, the travelogues of Sir John Mandeville, The Book of Eibon, and the Necronomicon. Many “demons” are discussed including Cthulhu, Yog-Sothoth, and the deity called Lloigor, as well as werewolves, mermaids, wild men of the woods, and the pre-Christian “Dragon Kings”. It is written in a vague and archaic style in a delicate and faded script.

Published Version

An edition of this book was published “at the press by Fisher’s Market” in London in 1577. The Company of Stationers, a group authorized by the king to censor books printed in England, destroyed all copies before they could leave the printer.