“FAR-SPREADING FIELDS OF PRIMITIVE THOUGHT WHICH HAD BEEN BUT LITTLE EXPLORED”: THE GOLDEN BOUGH, FRAZER’S CLASSIC STUDY OF MAGIC AND RELIGION, 13-VOLUME SET IN ORIGINAL CLOTH AND SCARCE DUST JACKETS
FRAZER, James George. The Golden Bough; A Study in Magic and Religion. New York: Macmillan, 1951. Thirteen volumes. Octavo, original dark green cloth, original dust jackets. $2800.
Third and best edition, later issue, of Frazer’s landmark anthropological study of magic and religion, greatly enlarged and expanded to 13 volumes.
Begun by Frazer simply "to explain the strange rule of the priesthood or sacred kingship of Nemi and with it the legend of the Golden Bough, immortalized by Virgil," The Golden Bough grew over the years into "a vast and enterprising comparative study of the beliefs and institutions of mankind, offering the thesis that man progresses from magical through religious to scientific thought. Its discussion of fertility rites, the sacrificial killing of kings, the dying god, the scapegoat, etc., and its analysis of the primitive mind, caught the literary imagination, and its influence may perhaps be seen most lastingly in the works of D.H. Lawrence, T.S. Eliot, and Pound" (Drabble, 212). First published in 1890 in two volumes; a second edition appeared in 1900 in three volumes. The third edition was originally issued in London, beginning in 1911 and extending to 1936 (the date of the 13th supplemental volume). The 12th volume (Part VIII) contains an extensive bibliography and general index. See PMM 374.
Books generally fine, corner dampstaining to rear boards of Volume II; scarce original dust jackets in excellent condition, with expert restoration to Volumes I and II only, a few volumes with stains on rear panels. A near-fine copy.