The golden bough

by Sir James George Frazer

Book, ?

Status

Available

Call number

ML

Call number

ML

Original publication date

1890

Local notes

* Beautifully illustrated with atmospheric paintings by renowned artists, The Golden Bough offers readers a modernist approach to discussing religion, treating it dispassionately as a cultural phenomenon rather than from a theological perspective.

* Just as accessible and enjoyable for today's readers as it would have been when first published, the book is one of the great studies of mythology and religion and continues to be widely read throughout the world.

* This meticulous digital edition from Heritage Illustrated Publishing is a faithful reproduction of the original text and is enhanced with images of classic works of art carefully selected by our team of professional editors.

User reviews

LibraryThing member melannen
So this is the condensed version, only about a thousand pages, but still full of fascinating tidbits of folklore and culture, and some very incisive theorizing about human belief patterns and theories of culture to link it all together. Very much a product of its times, but if you can get past the (generally mild) period imperialism, the meat of the book is still good.

It's very obviously condensed, though, and therefore I find it best dipped into in small portions. I've no idea how the 12-volume version compares - even the one up in Preject Gutenberg is the condensed edition, as far as I can tell - but I'd like to put down the book's tendency to list a bunch of apparently unrelated facts, then a bald theory, then some more random facts, to the abridging process. Unfortunately it's a style that was picked up by a lot of less rigorous researchers into the liminal spaces (erikvondaniken *cough*), with unfortunate results.

But if you're at all interested in magic or folklore or myth or culture, this is a classic, the basis of a lot of fiction and all later theoretical work (even the works that have partially overturned it) and, for all my caveats, still suprisingly readable - a great bedtime book.
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LibraryThing member ritaer
Thank you for the abridge edition, Sir James. Even the abridgements contains a confounding amount of information and examples. Like any attempt to shoehorn a large portion of human behavior into one theory, the book has its problems. While a classic of its time it is no longer considered authoritative in the field. I wouldn't consider it a "must read" but it certainly illustrates the amazing complexity of magical and religious customs around the world.… (more)
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