The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets

Front Cover
HarperCollins, Nov 30, 1983 - Social Science - 1136 pages
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.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4
4 stars
3
3 stars
1
2 stars
3
1 star
0

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ftmckinstry - LibraryThing

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 ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - allyshaw - LibraryThing

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 ... Read full review

About the author (1983)

Barbara G. Walker, author of The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, The Woman's Dictionary of Symbols and Sacred Objects, and many other books, is a member of the Morris Museum Mineralogical Society and the Trailside Mineral Club of the New Jersey Earth Science Association.

Bibliographic information