The Golden Bough: Abridged Edition

The Golden Bough: Abridged Edition

by Sir James George Frazer


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According to legend, runaway slaves could attain a sort of freedom by breaking off a branch — the Golden Bough — from a sacred tree. If the runaway could kill the tree's attendant priest, he would become King of the Wood until his defeat by a new challenger. This 1890 work by Sir James George Frazer, an expert in myth and religion, was inspired by the legend. An extensive study of the cults, rites, and myths of antiquity, The Golden Bough explores ancient customs and their parallels with early Christianity.
Frazer's definitions of such terms as "magic," "religion," and "science" proved highly useful to his successors, and his explications of the legends profoundly influenced generations of prominent psychologists, writers, and poets. This abridgment of his multivolume magnum opus omits footnotes and occasionally condenses text; nevertheless, as the author himself observed, all of the original work's main principles remain intact, along with ample illustrative examples.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780486836102
Publisher: Dover Publications
Publication date: 12/18/2019
Series: Dover Thrift Editions
Edition description: Abridged
Pages: 768
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Scottish folklorist and anthropologist Sir James Frazer (1854–1941) spent three decades assembling The Golden Bough, a pioneering study of ancient cults, rites, and myths. Generations of writers and poets, including Sigmund Freud and T. S. Eliot, were inspired and influenced by his work.

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Golden Bough: Abridged Edition 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
IreneF on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Frazer has probably had as much influence on 20th century literature as Freud. As one of the most influential anthropological tomes ever written, I thought this book would hold some interest, even though its thesis (like psychoanalysis) is discredited. Oh, am I ever sorry. The contents are jumbled lists of beliefs and practices of various societies, seemingly cherry-picked to support the centrality of the dying-and-arising god myth in religious practices. (On the positive side, it certainly applies to Christianity.)I'm willing to accommodate the small-mindedness of older authors, but the constant denigration of "savages" just rubs me the wrong way. I suppose I'll use it as reference, but I'm certainly not going to read it through.I'd be happier with a book *about* The Golden Bough. I think the only reason to buy it is as a required text.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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