'The Subtle Beast - Snakes, from Myth to Medicine' introduces you to the complex and absorbing world of these mysterious creatures. Each of the fourteen chapters in this volume can be read independently, but read together they trace a fascinating journey from the macroscopic features of snakes to the molecular description of their venom components. The first three chapters detail how snakes inspired fear and worship, served as sources of medicine, and represented good and evil throughout the ages. The remaining sections describe much of the scientific work that has eroded these supernatural beliefs during the past three centuries. The book examines the origin, features, and classification of snakes, and also offers a precise description of snake venoms and their components. The final chapter discusses how venoms can be applied toward medicinal purposes. Illustrated with a wealth of full color figures, this volume explains technical topics in language that is understandable to an educated lay audience.