The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets

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HarperCollins, Nov 30, 1983 - Social Science - 1136 pages
27 Reviews
Do You Know...

  • where the legend of a cat's nine lives comes from?

  • why "mama" is a word understood in nearly all languages?

  • how the custom of kissing began?

  • whether there really was a female pope?

  • why Cinderella's glass slipper was so important to the Prince?

The answers to these and countless other intriguing questions are given in this compulsively readable, feminist encyclopedia. Twenty-five years in preparation, this unique, comprehensive sourcebook focuses on mythology anthropology, religion, and sexuality to uncover precisely what other encyclopedias leave out or misrepresent. The Woman's Encyclopedia presents the fascinating stories behind word origins, legends, superstitions, and customs. A browser's delight and an indispensable resource, it offers 1,350 entries on magic, witchcraft, fairies, elves, giants, goddesses, gods, and psychological anomalies such as demonic possession; the mystical meanings of sun, moon, earth, sea, time, and space; ideas of the soul, reincarnation, creation and doomsday; ancient and modern attitudes toward sex, prostitution, romance, rape, warfare, death and sin, and more.

Tracing these concepts to their prepatriarchal origins, Barbara G. Walker explores a "thousand hidden pockets of history and custom in addition to the valuable material recovered by archaeologists, orientalists, and other scholars."

Not only a compendium of fascinating lore and scholarship, The Woman's Encyclopedia is a revolutionary book that offers a rare opportunity for both women and men to see our cultural heritage in a fresh light, and draw upon the past for a more humane future.

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Very interesting and fun reference book. - Goodreads
Bad scholarship is bad enough... - Goodreads
Very well researched. - Goodreads
Great reference for anything mythology. - Goodreads
A wonderful reference book for anyone. - Goodreads
Kinda wish I still had a copy for reference. - Goodreads

Review: The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets

User Review  - Penelope Swan - Goodreads

This is an essential reference book for anyone who researches regularly. Read full review

Review: The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets

User Review  - Rhonda - Goodreads

I've read it three times, and could continue to do so. Learn something new every time. Great reference for anything mythology. Read full review

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About the author (1983)

Barbara G. Walker, author of The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, The Woman's Dictionary of Symbols and Sacred Objects, and many other books, is a member of the Morris Museum Mineralogical Society and the Trailside Mineral Club of the New Jersey Earth Science Association.

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