Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Communication, Media and Culture lecturer contributes to book on scary monsters

Friday, 14 March 2014


Tom Tyler, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy and Culture, has recently had his work on the Mythical beast ‘Donestre’ published in Ashgate’s encyclopaedia; providing an “authoritative A–Z of monsters throughout the ages”.The image above shows a Donestre devouring a human. Source: Marvels of the East (Anglo-Saxon, c. 1050) London, British Library, MS Cotton Tiberius B. v., fol. 83v.Tom’s entry to the Encyclopaedia of Literary and Cinematic Monsters focuses on the ‘Donestre’; a mythical beast with the body of a human and a lion-like head. It was believed that these creatures would deceive humans into coming near to them, then devour them, keep their heads intact. The ‘Donestre’ is often pictured weeping alongside the head of its victim though the reason for this is unknown. One of the main theories is that the ‘Donestre’ was grieving for his victim and showing remorse for what it had done. Luckily there have been no recent reported sightings of the ‘Donestre’ around the Oxfordshire area, though perhaps be wary if you should happen to stumble on a man with a human’s body and a lion’s head. You can read Tom’s entire entry to the encyclopaedia here: http://www.cyberchimp.co.uk/research/#donestre