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Leaves from the Golden Bough

Nature volume 114, pages 854855 (13 December 1924) | Download Citation



IT was a happy idea of Lady Frazer's to transform by a few magical touches the learned treatise of anthropology into a fascinating book of stories for children. It is remarkable how readily young folk will respond to good literature, to true talent and to real wisdom. Any one who wishes can convince himself by experiment of this fact by observing how children of four years onwards will listen with delight to properly chosen passages from Homer, Shakespeare, and Cervantes. Frazer's “Golden Bough” contains the most universal and catholic collection of stories, customs, and practices, and these in illustration of some of the most dramatic and mysterious aspects of human nature; and it is told with a unique charm and power by the illustrious author. From this masterpiece of literature and science, Lady Frazer has judiciously selected a number of appropriate incidents which will impress once for all on the young mind the most important facts of anthropology. The child will be keenly interested to hear what the mistletoe bough really means in the Christmas festivities and what it meant to our ancestors. · He will follow eagerly the strange adventures of ancient heroes of Greece, of the semi-animal gods of Egypt, the sagas of Teutons and the folk-tales from five continents and numberless islands.

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