The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion: A New Abridgement from the Second and Third Editions by Sir James George Frazer
First published in 1890, this classic work was eventually issued in a 12-volume edition (1906-15). It is a study of the beliefs and institutions of mankind and the progress through magic and religion to scientific thought. The book was abridged in 1922, but not reconsidered for a modern audience until this new abridgement, which restores Frazer's bolder theories, including Frazer's daring speculations on the Crucifixion of Christ, and sets them within the framework of a useful introduction and notes. The book was a seminal work of modern anthropology which influenced many 20th-century writers, including D.H. Lawrence, T.S. Eliot and Wyndham Lewis. Its discussion of magical types, the sacrificial killing of kings, the dying god and the scapegoat is given fresh pertinences in this new edition. Robert Fraser is the author of "The Making of 'The Golden Bough'" and "Sir James Frazer and the Literary Imagination".