An Abominable History
Graham Hoyland, who once found and filmed yeti footprints in Bhutan, investigates our enduring fascination with the ancient legend of this large primate unknown to science. He considers possible explanations for yeti sightings but also delves deeper into the strange world of ‘cryptids’ to ask why we want to believe in the existence of mythical beasts – and what our ‘post-truth’ world can learn from those reports that have been revealed as hoaxes.
The True Origins of the Once and Future King
Adam Ardrey follows up the detective work in his Finding Merlin with this account of his wider investigations into the legend of King Arthur. He reaches the startling conclusion that the historical Arthur came from Scotland, and also presents evidence to suggest that some of the story’s most familiar features – the Round Table, the Sword in the Stone and the Lady of the Lake – have their origins in the landscapes of the Scottish Highlands.
London has a rich tradition of esoteric practices, obscure institutions and forgotten locations. This volume reveals its hidden history, from the Elizabethan necromancer John Dee to Madame Blavatsky, from the occult designs of Wren and Hawksmoor to the notorious Aleister Crowley. The book charts London’s mysterious psychogeography, explores its myths and legends, and provides a gazetteer of its most resonant locations.
Kings of the Grail
The location and even the very existence of the Holy Grail have been shrouded in mystery for centuries. In this book the authors present the texts of parchment documents recently discovered in Egypt, revealing that the relic passed through the hands of kings and reached the Iberian peninsula in the mid eleventh century, having previously been preserved in Jerusalem. This evidence is combined with material from other sources to identify the Grail as a chalice now kept at León in northern Spain.
A Brief Guide to Native American Myths and Legends
The world of Native American mythology is inhabited by such fantastical and capricious characters as the shape-shifting trickster Coyote and the mischievous Blue Jay. The seminal study of these sacred tales was written by the Scottish folklorist Lewis Spence in 1914; this updated edition has a new introductory essay, commentary on Native American culture and stories from tribes not covered by Spence, such as the Inuit.
Stories in the Stars
An Atlas of Constellations
‘Lying on our backs, we look up at the night sky. This is where stories began’ (John Berger). Drawing on folk and literary traditions of many cultures, this book retells some of the myriad myths and legends inspired by the stars. From Andromeda to Vulpecula (the ‘Little Fox’), each constellation’s story is accompanied by an illustration and a celestial map that shows adjacent constellations and the apparent magnitude of each star as seen from Earth. Felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
A Field Guide to Fantastical Beasts
A Compendium of Fabulous Creatures, Enchanted Beings and Magical Monsters
Stories of humans transforming into wolves go back to the ancient Greek civilization, and were widely believed in the Middle Ages with werewolf trials taking place in central Europe from the 15th century. From the monsters of classical and Norse myths to the inventions of gothic writers and modern fantasy authors, this compendium profiles the origins and characteristics of a host of supernatural creatures including dragons, goblins, griffins, vampires and unicorns.
The History and Legends of Viking England
After a brief history of the ‘Viking Age’, which saw the movement of peoples from Scandinavia to the British Isles, Eleanor Parker turns to medieval chronicles and legends about the Vikings or ‘Danes’. Although the medieval narratives often portray the Scandinavians as raiders whose purpose was plunder and destruction, Parker’s close study of the stories reveals other motives – including participation in English politics and the need to settle – and she traces the positive Viking contribution to culture and identity in England.
In Search of England's Lost King
Francis Young, himself at the forefront of the search to locate the lost coffin of King Edmund, tells the story of the historical search for the real man behind the legendary East Anglian king killed by the Vikings in 869. The book traces Edmund’s progress from martyred king to England’s national saint in medieval times; and describes current research into Edmund’s burial in the abbey at Bury St Edmunds and the present whereabouts of his mortal remains.
Mabon and the Guardians of Celtic Britain
Hero Myths in the Mabinogion
The synopses and commentaries in this ‘explorative study’ help the reader to unlock the cultural significance and spiritual meanings of the ‘Four Branches’ and ‘Taliesin’, the most ancient myths in the Welsh Mabinogion. Matthews’ interpretations focus on the initiatory pattern of Britain’s inner guardians and the figures of the archetypal liberator Mabon and his mother, Modron the Great Goddess. Revised and updated edition of Mabon and the Mysteries of Britain.
A Brief History of the Amazons
Women Warriors in Myth and History
Ancient Greek myth tells of ferocious female warriors called Amazons who lived near the Black Sea and slaughtered their male children. Could the story reflect a real matriarchal society, or perhaps a women-only religious cult? This book follows the author’s quest for the evidence, not only in ancient texts and artistic depictions but also in archaeological discoveries such as the graves of Iron-Age women buried with arrows, swords and armour.
Dictionary of Classical Mythology
This expanded edition of an acclaimed reference work has substantial entries for the greatest gods and heroes, from Achilles to Zeus, together with information on a host of minor figures, such as nymphs, seers and river-gods. References are given to the passages of Greek and Roman literature where their stories appear, as well as examples of the ancient myths’ influence on modern works. The book also features more than 170 illustrations, largely redrawn from Greek vases.
Animals in Myth, Legend, and Literature
In this great survey of animals and their symbolism, Boria Sax has abandoned biological classification in favour of tradition, linking the animals not only to their natural habitat and habits, but also to human cultural values and practices. The resulting categories range from almost human (apes, monkeys, bears, beavers, porcupines and pigs), through tricksters, musicians, man’s best friends, beasts of burden and tough guys to divinities (owls, eagles, doves and, remarkably, the rhinoceros).
Haunted Places of Dorset
On The Trail of The Paranormal
St Juthware has carried her severed head down Abbot’s Hill in Dorset since the eighth century; a terrifying Black Friar haunts the rooms of Rufford Abbey in Nottinghamshire; the noise of a phantom fighter plane has been heard over Romney Marsh since the Battle of Britain. Journeying through the English counties, the authors of these fascinating books retell the ancient and modern tales of the supernatural, and picture many of the haunted sites
The Green Roads of England
Starting at the 'central gathering ground' at Avebury, Cox's guide covers all the ancient roads of England, following the Stone Age ridge roads of southern England, describing, with the help of maps, plans and illustrations, the hill forts and other earthworks found along them and discussing other aspects of neolithic civilization. Facsimile edition.
Precessional Time and the Evolution of Consciousness
How Stories Create the World
This spiritual guide explores how the profound power of stories has given our world meaning and made us human. Exploring how ancient myths, megalithic structures, the formation of language and prehistoric cave art are narratives shaped by sacred proportion, Richard Heath explains that stories enable us to identify the spiritual aspect within the material world and to participate in the evolution of human consciousness.
Britain's X-Traordinary Files
David Clarke opens The National Archives’ own X Files to uncover the secret, official accounts behind legendary paranormal and extraordinary phenomena. From the First World War mystery of the Angel of Mons, through sea monsters sighted by the Royal Navy, UFO sightings and psychic crime investigators, to the Beast of Bodmin Moor, Clarke brings to light secret documents created by military intelligence and government agencies, and examines the official evidence of encounters with the uncanny and inexplicable.
The Most Amazing Places of Folklore and Legend in Britain
From the Shetland fire festival of Up Helly Aa to the mermaid of Zennor's tale of love and loss, Britain's folklore is deeply rooted in a bygone age when pastoral demands shaped the year, yet many of these centuries-old celebrations are alive and well today. This illustrated guide describes places and events where such traditions can still be experienced, along with maps, directions and a list of festivals by date, to provide everything you need to plan your folklore journey.
Secrets of the Hidden Source
In Search of Devon's Ancient and Holy Wells
Natural springs were revered by Devon's Celtic and early Christian inhabitants as places of healing and spirituality. Local place names give clues to their locations and many in fact still exist, hidden among modern town developments or in remote and neglected rural spots. This book explores the history of sacred wells in the county and seeks out over 90 surviving examples, with location photographs and notes on how to find them.
From the Gunpowder Plot to the Millennium Bug, all manner of historical mysteries, plots, cover-ups and unexplained phenomena are explored in this colourful survey. The ring-bound file contains not only chapters on assassinations, UFOs and aliens, spies, hoaxes, disputed identities and mysteries surrounding the Titanic and the Bermuda Triangle, but facsimiles of memorabilia including postcards and newspaper front pages.
Knight of the Goddess
Gawain, nephew of King Arthur, was once the most important knight at Arthur’s Court, yet as the popularity of the Arthurian legend grew his character gradually evolved into a womanizing villain. This scholarly study by a leading Arthurian expert explores how this happened over many hundreds of years of British storytelling, and seeks to restore Gawain’s reputation. This American edition was previously published in the UK as Gawain: Knight of the Goddess.
A Brief Guide to the Greek Myths
From the birth of the gods to the aftermath of the Trojan War and Plato's myth of Atlantis, Kershaw tells the stories of Greek mythology and discusses the wide-ranging influence of these tales on western culture. The book's final section surveys the ways in which people have tried to understand and rationalize myths, from antiquity to the present.
Arthur: King of the Britons
From Celtic Hero to Cinema Icon
King Arthur is probably the most popular king in British history, a man whose name is synonymous with courage, chivalry and romanticism. But is he just a myth? Daniel Mersey's 'popular history' considers both Arthurs - the hero of children's stories, literature and folklore and the Arthur of history - and presents a 'biography' of both of them, from their earliest incarnations up to the present day.
Understand Chinese Mythology
This Teach Yourself guide is the ideal introduction to Chinese myth, covering little-known symbolic stories as well as the familiar dragons and astrology that are well embedded in popular culture. The author begins by explaining the background to Chinese culture and mythology, then goes on to explore the myths, retelling them in modern English and teasing out their meanings and cultural significance.