Sir James George Frazer originally set out to discover the origins of one ancient custom in Classical Rome - the plucking of the Golden Bough from a tree in the sacred grove of Diana, and the murderous succession of the priesthood there - and was led by his invetigations into a twenty-five year study of primitive customs, superstitions, magic and myth throughout the world. The monumental thirteen-volume work which resulted has been a rich source of anthropological material and a literary masterpiece for more than half a century. Both the wealth of his illustrative material and the broad sweep of his argument can be appreciated in this very readable single volume.
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SIR JAMES GEORGE FRAZER (1854-1941) was one of the arly pioneers in the sociological study of religion. He began his career as a classicist but it is for his work in social anthropology that he is best remembered. His most famous work, The Golden Bough first appeared in 1890 in a two-volume edition but was twice revised and expanded, the third edition appearing in twelve volumes in 1911-15. Frazer's other works include Psyche's Task, Totemism and Exogamy, The Belief in Immortality and The Worship of the Dead and Folklore in the Old Testament.Review:
'In the condensed volume which lies before us we can grasp the masterly plan of the whole work; the mind is fascinated by the author's skill as a constructive thinker and a framer of concepts, and also as a compiler of picturesque detail.' - Spectator
'...equally remarkable for its vast assembly of facts and its unusual charm of presentation. Few men of such learning have written more attractively.' - George Sampson, Concise Cambridge History of English Literature
'A classic; theoretically outmoded, but still informative, stimulating and highly readable.' - Maurice Freedman and I. Schapera, Reader's Guide
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