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The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and…
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The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets (1983)

by Barbara G. Walker

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8591215,452 (3.97)5

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English (11)  German (1)  All languages (12)
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
There is a great deal of information in this book, but it's written with such a heavy bias that I found myself irritated and questioning the research. I would have preferred to get this information in a more thoughtful, well-researched way, instead of being bludgeoned by the author's slanted point of view. ( )
  ftmckinstry | Apr 22, 2014 |
The prolific Barbara G. Walker-- what would we do without her? I refer to this epic endeavor of hers quite often. It is a wealth of information, idiosyncratically presented in such a way that it reminds me of Johnson's first dictionary-- a willful presentation of a myriad silenced histories with no pretense of being objective about it.
  allyshaw | Apr 4, 2013 |
Book Description: San Francisco: Harper Row, 1983. Good. First Edition. 8vo - over 7ĺ" - 9√ā¬ĺ" tall.
  Czrbr | Jun 7, 2010 |
Despite the title, Barbara G. Walker's incredibly thorough handling of female connections and allusions in different cultures, ethnicities, histories, etc. is highly useful and engaging for anyone interested in myth, history, or society in general. In fact, the synopsis includes a highly praising quote from Russell Hoban, the author of _Riddley Walker_. The _Encyclopedia_ covers a huge number of interesting topics that is told in a style of writing that is not "monotone" as most normal encyclopedias are. Among other things, it covers the significance of Cinderella's glass slipper, the various mythologies and beliefs surrounding the moon, and the symbolic qualities of things like pomegranates and hair. It answers questions like, "Who was Adam's first wife?" "Why is breaking a mirror considered to be bad luck?" and "Was there ever a female pope or a real Easter bunny?" I have gained so much knowledge from this book, which is best-read by flipping through it and stopping at different points of interest or curiosity. Aside from her entries, Walker includes interesting trivia on the margins and begins each section with various images of historic statues, sculptures, paintings, and photographs.Walker is really worthy of much praise here. Over 1100 pages and over 20 years of research has resulted in an amazing fusion of myth, history, legend, culture, religion, and so many countless other disciplines. The detail is simply unbelievable. I found myself so enthralled in this book, much like I would be caught up in a good suspense novel. It is easy to get completely caught up in this book. So many topics are covered, and once I came up with one at random and found Walker's coverage and research on it, my mind popped up with yet another possibility to discover. ( )
1 vote PinkPandaParade | Feb 16, 2009 |
A great introduction to women's spirituality. A beginning place for much research. ( )
  thesmellofbooks | Feb 5, 2009 |
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Why did Adam "give birth" to Eve? See Birth-giving, Male
Sacred alphabets of the ancient world signified birth and beginning by the letter A.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
    Do you know ...
  • Where the legend of a cat's nine lives comes from?
  • Why "mama" is a word understood in nearly all languages"
  • How the custom of kissing began?
  • Whether there really was a female pope?
  • Why Cinderella's glass slipper was so important to the Prince?

The answers to these and countless other questions are given in this compulsively readable, feminist encyclopedia. Twenty-five years in the preparation, this unique, comprehensive sourcebook focuses on mythology, anthropology, religion, and sexuality to uncover precisely what other encyclopedias leave out or misrepresent.  The Woman's Encyclopedia presents the fascinating stories behind word origins, legends, superstitions, and customs. A browser's delight and an indispensable resource, it offers 1350 entries on magic, witchcraft, fairies, elves, giants, goddesses, gods, and psychological anomalies such as demonic possession; the mystical meanings of sun, moon, earth, sea, time and space; ideas of the soul, reincarnation, creation, and doomsday; ancient and modern attitudes toward sex, prostitution, romance, rape, warfare, death, and sin, and much, much more!

Tracing these concepts to their prepatriarchal origins, Barbara G Walker explores a thousand hidden pockets of history and custom in addition to the valuable material recovered by archaeologists, orientalists, and other scholars.

Not only a compendium of fascinating lore and scholarship, The Woman's Encyclopedia is a revolutionary book that offers a rare opportunity for both women and men to see our cultural heritage  in a fresh light, and draw upon the past for a more humane future.,
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 006250925X, Paperback)

This fascinating, scholarly hodgepodge spotlights the feminist underpinnings of myth, religion, and culture. Before being lionized as zaftig Norse angels who guided strong warriors to Valhalla, Valkyries may have offered rebirth through cannibalization. "Little Red Riding Hood" was based on Diana, goddess of the hunt. Marriage was once considered a sin, not a sacred union: St. Bernard once proclaimed "it was easier for a man to bring the dead back to life than to live with a woman without endangering his soul." A few of the other topics expounded upon are the Milky Way, Cinderella, the moon, and males giving birth. While some of the references put a cranky feminist spin on words that might in context have different meaning--St. Paul's oft-quoted "better to marry than to burn," for example--much in this vast tome will dazzle dabblers and intellectuals alike.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:44 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Do You Know...where the legend of a cat's nine lives comes from? Why "mama" is a word understood in nearly all languages? How the custom of kissing began? Whether there really was a female pope? Why Cinderella's glass slipper was so important to the Prince? The answers to these and countless other intriguing questions are given in this compulsively readable, feminist encyclopedia. Twenty-five years in preparation, this unique, comprehensive sourcebook focuses on mythology anthropology, religion, and sexuality to uncover precisely what other encyclopedias leave out or misrepresent. The Woman's Encyclopedia presents the fascinating stories behind word origins, legends, superstitions, and customs. A browser's delight and an indispensable resource, it offers 1,350 entries on magic, witchcraft, fairies, elves, giants, goddesses, gods, and psychological anomalies such as demonic possession the mystical meanings of sun, moon, earth, sea, time, and space ideas of the soul, reincarnation, creation and doomsday ancient and modern attitudes toward sex, prostitution, romance, rape, warfare, death and sin, and more. Tracing these concepts to their prepatriarchal origins, Barbara G. Walker explores a "thousand hidden pockets of history and custom in addition to the valuable material recovered by archaeologists, orientalists, and other scholars." Not only a compendium of fascinating lore and scholarship, The Woman's Encyclopedia is a revolutionary book that offers a rare opportunity for both women and men to see our cultural heritage in a fresh light, and draw upon the past for a more humane future.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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