I received a complimentary copy of this book from Quirk Books in exchange for a review.
Quirk does a wonderful job with this faux biography of Dr. Spencer Black. In the late 1800’s Black began his macabre journey into the medical world by helping his father dig up corpses for experimentation. Spencer becomes a celebrated Doctor himself years later only to be sidetracked by a dark obsession. After seeing the corpse of a faun child at a circus Spencer becomes convinced that mythical beasts like Centaurs, Pegasus, Minotaur's and Sirens are actual offshoots of human physiology.
This obsession leads Black to human experimentation, morbid carnival sideshows and the bulk of this text: The Codex Extinct Animalia a detailed anatomical study of creatures of myth.
The illustrations are wonderfully detailed and a tad eerie. I loved the illustrations in this volume and the story was intriguing but it left a few unanswered questions.
A really nice volume, perfect for coffee tables.