Folklore & Mythology
The Impossible Zoo
An Encylopedia of Fabulous Beasts and Mythical Monsters
Folklore and mythology are full of fantastical creatures that never existed but still exert a powerful hold on our imaginations. This A–Z catalogue of fabulous zoology surveys humanity’s attempts to understand the natural and supernatural worlds through fictitious giant beasts, shape changers and composite monsters, including mermaids, manticores and those (such as the unicorn) that were engendered by misdescriptions of real animals. Off-mint.
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 Long Path to Wisdom
Tales from Burma
Featuring talking animals, wicked mothers-in-law, monks and deities, this compendium of Burmese folk tales encompasses themes including sorrow, betrayal, atonement and love. The stories reveal both the profound influence of centuries of Buddhist thought on the nation's rich mythological heritage and the extent to which every culture draws upon universal wisdom.
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. Slightly off-mint. Felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
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.
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.
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 evolved into a womanizing villain. Written by an expert on Arthurian mythology, this volume explores hundreds of years of British storytelling to uncover how such a transformation occurred and to restore Gawain’s reputation. This American edition was previously published in the UK as Gawain: Knight of the Goddess.
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
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
A Swedish boy who tricked a hungry troll, a Jamaican man haunted by a ghostly stranger, and a girl who invited a vampire into a gothic English mansion – encounters with otherworldly beings, from the mythical to the spooky, feature throughout this collection of 25 folktales and fairy stories. Age 8+
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.
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.
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.
A Purse Full of Tales
Folk Tales from Korea
Korean folk tales include many supernatural and surrealist elements, influenced variously by Shamanism, Buddhism and Taoism. The 21 stories in this collection, populated with an eclectic cast of dragons, heavenly maidens, dokkaebis (goblins) and bluebirds, explore a universal theme – courage in the face of adversity. Age 9+
Myths and Legends of the Ancient World
Jason’s quest for the golden fleece, Echo’s doomed love for Narcissus and the visits to Hades by Ulysses and Aeneas are among the 49 Greco-Roman myths retold here by expert storytellers of the 19th and early 20th century. Inspired by the versions of ancient authors, they recreate an age when mortal heroes mixed with vengeful gods and faced such dangerous creatures as the Sirens and the Minotaur.
The Dictionary of Mythology
An A–Z of Themes, Legends and Heroes
From Scandinavia to the Pacific Islands, ancient cultures around the world have developed rich mythologies to answer humans’ most fundamental questions. This abridgement of Coleman’s sizeable reference work focuses on recurring themes, such as the significance of twins, dogs and rainbows in different belief systems. It also covers the mass of stories clustered around specific legendary figures, especially King Arthur, and events including Creation and the Trojan War.
This guide to superstitious lore is in two parts: the first examines the lighter side, detailing the historical and mythological roots of beliefs including hanging horseshoes over the door, telling stories to the bees and touching wood; the second looks into the darker side, with stories of hagstones, broken mirrors, black cats and the Evil Eye.
Myths and Legends
An Illustrated Guide to Their Origins and Meanings
Brightly illustrated throughout with contemporaneous art or images of surviving artefacts, this volume introduces a range of mythological figures, stories and themes from around the world. Divided by continent and culture, the 130 examples include Finn MacCool, the Knights of the Round Table, the legend of Uluru and the Birdman of Rapa-Nui.
An Unusual History of Land and Legend
For centuries a curious tomb in a church on the Hertfordshire–Essex border inspired stories about the dragon-slayer Piers Shonks, whose giant bones it was believed to contain. Hadley has embarked on a journey through English history and landscape to discover the real person behind the folk hero, producing this meditation on the importance of belief and memory in the battle between storytellers and those who try to silence them.