Folklore & Mythology
World Mythology in Bite-sized Chunks
Highlighting different cultures’ richly imaginative responses to the most basic questions about nature and mortality, this primer introduces the gods and goddesses, heroes and monsters of the world’s great storytelling traditions, from Australian and Maori tales to the Norse mythology of medieval Scandinavia.
Reynard the Fox
A New Translation
What do a weak lion king, a grief-stricken rooster and a dim-witted bear have in common? They’ve all been fooled by crafty Reynard the Fox. Unscrupulous, cunning and cynical, the hero – or antihero – of these popular medieval tales steals and swindles with impunity, cocking a snook at authority along the way. This lively modern translation of Caxton’s Middle English version captures all the dark humour, biting satire and irreverent verve of the original. Off-mint.
Green Lord of the Wild Wood
As well as the 'historical' Robin, John Matthews explores the various manifestations of Robin in folklore and legend, and relates the 'merry men' myths to mummers and morris dancers. From ancient lore, ballads, poems and masques, Robin emerges as a semi-divine embodiment of the mysterious, all-pervading life-force of the land: a Green Man, whose spirit lives on in the stories of his exploits. The book concludes with a substantial collection of Robin Hood ballads.
The Fabled Coast
Legends & Traditions from Around the Shores of Britain & Ireland
Pirates and smugglers, ghost ships and sea serpents, fishermen's prayers and sailors' rituals – the coasts of Britain and Ireland harbour an astonishing variety of legends, customs and superstitions. Area by area, this rich compendium of folklore trawls these shores for tales and traditions, from the lost land of Lyonesse to the mermaid-saint of Antrim, tracing their origins and examining their basis in fact. At once scholarly and compellingly readable, it offers a fascinating journey through the history of these islands. Off-mint.
The Secret World of the Hidden Ones
This illustrated companion to fairy folklore explores Asian and African spirits as well as the more familiar British and European sprites. Paintings by artists including Turner and Blake are supported by original fantasy art and among the enclosed memorabilia are a booklet of charms and potions and a 19th-century fold-out map of Fairyland. Felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
Greek Myths Reimagined
Looking out from the terrace of his house above the Gulf of Argos, John Spurling intertwines ancient and modern in a reimagining of Greek mythology. He tells stories of the god Apollo (who lends his name to the local football team) and the region’s great heroes Agamemnon, Herakles, Perseus and Theseus. With added context and dialogue, he locates the myths in their real-world settings and makes them fresh again for today’s readers.
The Essential Guide to Seers, Saints and Sages
Described by the author as a kind of spiritual ‘speed dating’, this book comprises brief introductions to the teachings of the greatest mystics and contemplatives in the Western Christian tradition. The thinkers, who range from Origen and Julian of Norwich to CS Lewis and Simone Weil, are presented as examples of nine ‘personality types’, which include Visionaries, Poets and Heretics.
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.
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.
Knights of the Round Table
Myths and Legends
Daniel Mersey retells ten Arthurian legends, including ‘The First Quest of the Round Table’, ‘Gawain and the Green Knight’ and ‘Tristan and Isolde’. Illustrated with artwork and photographs, the book places the stories in the context of the greater Arthurian tradition, and explains their impact on modern storytelling.
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.
The Piping Traditions of the Inner Isles
of the West Coast of Scotland
Covering the Inner Isles of the West Coast of Scotland from Arran to Rassay, this volume for piping enthusiasts includes piping lore, notes on the nature and meaning of the tunes, and biographies of renowned 20th century pipers such as Andrew Macneil of Colonsay and the great Mackays of Raasay. 16pp b&w plates
The Piping Traditions of the Outer Isles
of the West Coast of Scotland
Covering the Outer Isles of the West Coast of Scotland from Mingulay to Lewis, this volume for piping enthusiasts includes old Gaelic poems, notes on the nature and meaning of the tunes, and biographies of renowned 20th century pipers such as Wee Donald MacLeod and Peters Macleod. 20pp b&w plates
Goblins & Ghosties
Stories of Darkness from Around the World
The 25 folk tales and fairy stories in this collection originate in locations as far apart as the Isle of Man, Colombia, Korea and New Zealand. They range in tone from the farcical to the magical and the spooky, and feature ghosts in the library, hungry trolls, a werewolf's bride, vampires, goblins and spirits. Age 8+
Blind Ossian's Fingal
Fragments and Controversy
The poems of Ossian, Highland bard of the 3rd century, inspired the Romantic movement when they were 'rediscovered' and translated by James Macpherson in 1760. This volume is an introduction both to the poetry and to the continuing controversy about it: was it a hoax, entirely the work of Macpherson's imagination, or does it form part of a great Gaelic oral tradition? The texts of Fragments of Ancient Poetry and Fingal are reprinted here, together with contemporary and modern opinions. No jacket.
The Penguin Book of Classical Myths
The mythologies of Greece and Rome are full of strange and powerful tales of love and betrayal, war and heroism. These unforgettable stories, whose symbolism still pervades Western culture, are here retold by Jenny March, with translated and quoted passages showing how they were treated in ancient literature and how they have continued to inspire writers up to the present day. This hardback edition is exclusive to Postscript.
The Last Days of Troy
Dramatizing ‘a mystery that has come to us in echoes and whispers from over three thousand years ago’, Armitage’s play follows on from the account of the Greeks’ wooden horse in Homer’s Odyssey to tell the story of the Trojan War to its bitter end. Set in present-day Hisarlik, the site of ancient Troy, with a cast of gods and mortals, the play explores an ancient conflict that rages to this day.
Dr Ernest Drake's Collector's Library
Two volumes: Monsterology and Dragonology
'The world is full of amazing beasts and monsters far beyond our ken', writes Ernest Drake; and in these books he reports on his researches into dragons (his first love) and into the study of the many supposedly mythical beasts besides dragons that mundane science misses altogether. Each of his reports features maps and documents, wonderful paintings and anatomical drawings of the creatures, samples of shed skin and feathers and even a hair from the mane of a unicorn. Jewel-encrusted and slip-cased. Age 8+
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.
Norse Myths and Legends
Viking Tales of Gods and Heroes
The ancient tales of Norse mythology have recently been reaching new audiences through films and comics, but the original stories can be hard to disentangle from the medieval texts in which they are preserved. This selection of myths and legends is presented in more accessible retellings which incorporate commentary on the stories’ significance within the history, literature and world-view of the Vikings.
Celtic Fairy Tales
First published in 1892, this illustrated anthology presents 24 traditional tales of wonder, witchcraft and magic from Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Cornwall. The stories include ‘Beth Gellert’ and ‘Conal Yellowclaw’, and there are notes about collecting Celtic folklore and the sources of each tale.
The Names Upon the Harp
Irish Myth and Legend
Introducing such heroes as Cuchulainn and Finn Mac Cumhaill, this book tells some of the best-known stories of Irish mythology, illustrated by the Irish Children's Laureate PJ Lynch and including a previously unpublished poem by Seamus Heaney, translated from the original Irish. Age 9+
Short History of Robin Hood
A Pocket Essential
From medieval ballads to Hollywood movies, the legend of the folk hero in the forest has endured for centuries. Nick Rennison investigates candidates for the ‘real Robin’, explores the tale’s many reinventions and discusses their historical significance and impact.