The Golden Bough
The authoritative 1890 edition with an introduction by Cairns Craig and Frazer’s own afterword. Published originally in two volumes in 1890, this extraordinary study of primitive myth and magic led Scottish anthropologist J.G. Frazer to identify parallel patterns of ritual, symbols and belief across many centuries and many different cultures. His observations on the mysteries of fertility and death, and the rites of the sacrificial king who must die to save his people, overturned much of contemporary intellectual thinking, not least because of the enlightening or ‘heretical’ parallels it suggested with the Christian religion. Frazer’s elegant and authoritative style, and the breadth of his learning inspired a whole generation of ethnographers and comparative anthropologists, and had a particularly powerful effect on many other thinkers and writers such as Sigmund Freud, D.H. Lawrence, Joyce, Yeats and T.S. Eliot. This definitive volume includes the unabridged original 1890 edition as well as several essays and lectures by Frazer. ‘Frazer’s work has epic scale yet mesmerizing fineness of detail. We see the great structures of civilization forming and melting against a background of elemental mystery. The effect is cinematic and sublime.’ Camille Paglia
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Adonis Africa Amongst ancient animal annually appears Athenaeus Australian Bastian bear believed bird blood body bonfires buried burned called carried ceremony chief corn-spirit crops custom dance dead death deity Demeter Dionysus divine dressed eaten effigy exogamy festival fire flesh flowers girl goat gods Golden Bough Greek ground hair hand harvest harvest customs head Herodotus Howitt human Indians individual totem Islands Kamilaroi Khonds killed king last corn last sheaf Lityerses living maize Mannhardt midsummer mistletoe myth natives nature need-fire observed Osiris Pausanias person phratry plant Plutarch priest primitive rain reapers religion represented rites sacred sacrifice sacrificed Sagen savage slain sometimes soul South Australia spirit of vegetation spring straw subphratries supposed threshing throw totem clans tree tree-spirit tribe turtle U.S. Exploring Expedition victim village Virbius Voyages Wolf woman women wood worship young