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The Golden Bough by James George Frazer
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The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion is a wide-ranging comparative study of mythology and religion, written by Scottish anthropologist Sir James George Frazer. It was first published in two volumes in 1890; the third edition, published 190615, comprised twelve volumes. It was aimed at a broad literate audience raised on tales as told in such publications as Thomas Bulfinch's Age of Fable. It offered a modernist approach to discussing religion, treating it dispassionately as a cultural phenomenon rather than from a theological perspective.

Some of the work, especially descriptions of magic, are still held as valid today. His speculation about dying god themes and the Year King have fallen into discredit, and his work on totems has been superseded. Although the worth of its contribution to anthropology will be newly evaluated by each generation, its impact on contemporary European literature was substantial.
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  The Golden Bough
The Limited Editions Club 1st Thus Hardcover edition, Date published 1970, Illustrated by James Lewicki, 884 pages
Introduction by Stanley Edgar Hyman, two volume limited edition set with gold heavy-weave cloth covers and black cloth wrap-around spines, printed at Stone Broooks at Bloomfield Ct.1970. Designed by Charles Skaags. Signed on colophon by James Lewicki, illustrator. Search for other copies
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