European Mythology

Jacqueline Simpson, Author Bedrick $24.95 (144p) ISBN 978-0-87226-044-3
The author here tackles a complex area of folklore: beliefs and stories about fairies, trolls, heroes and supernatural beings that have existed alongside Christianity in rural European peasant communities well into the 20th century. Simpson, a British folklorist, argues that there are enough basic similarities among the folktales of European nations to justify considering them a ""mythology.'' She groups the tales into seven categoriescreation myths, realms of the dead, wonder-workers, shape-changers and witches, the rituals of folk festivals, etc.and offers examples of the varying forms these legends have taken in response to local customs. Photographs of ancient megaliths, medieval illustrations depicting supernatural beings and pictures of folk ceremonies (some still celebrated) provide a lively accompaniment to the text. Though not rigorous enough in its definitions to satisfy scholars, this is an entertaining introduction for the general reader. (April 17)
Reviewed on: 03/31/1987
Release date: 04/01/1987
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