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Dictionary of Superstitions Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 294 pages
  • Publisher: Cassell; First Edition edition (March 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0304345350
  • ISBN-13: 978-0304345359
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #508,562 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

David Pickering is an experienced freelance writer and editor, who specialises in compiling arts and general reference books. An English language and literature graduate of St Peter's College, Oxford, his most recent credits as author and editor have included THE CASSELL SOCCER COMPANION, THE CASSELL COMPANION TO TWENTIETH-CENTURY MUSIC, THE CASSELL DICTIONARY OF PROVERBS, THE CASSELL DICTIONARY OF WITCHCRAFT, THE CASSELL DICTIONARY OF FOLKLORE and CASSELL'S SPORTS QUOTATIONS. He lives in Buckingham with his wife and two sons. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Described as 'the maven of reference book writers', David Pickering has written, contributed to, or ghosted over 250 reference books for major British and American publishers. His works on history, folklore, language, theatre, and other subjects have won many fans and have led to numerous appearances in television and radio studios over the years. The enduringly popular dictionaries of Witchcraft and Superstitions are now available here as ebooks for the first time.

An experienced editor of fiction and autobiography as well as reference books, he has also published several works of fiction. His epic debut novel 'And Stones Shall Dance' was begun at Oxford in the 1970s and was finally published, after development on youwriteon.com, in 2012. 'Things Lost and Other Short Stories' comprises a collection of his shorter fiction. Other titles include a series of classic short story anthologies featuring tales by the greatest names in English literature.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 18 customer reviews
I in turn cary it around where ever i go, and find it's now my favorite passages to read in my spare time.
Johanna Jamison
Each of the articles under each item are not well constructed or organized, particularly for the larger entries.
fcsuper
Cassell's Dictionary of Superstitions is, I must say, one of the better ones, and I can highly recommend it.
CB

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Literary Mykal on August 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is a fantastic reference book of superstitions, new and old! While it would have been nice to get an explanation of the origin of these superstitions, the book is still a great read and helps to understand why some people feel and fear the way they do.

As for the definition of BELT, which references to the marriage to a coloured man and caused a certain amount of discomfort of reviewers on here, yes, it's a term that is dated now but the cover sleeve of the hardback does say, and I quote: "The Cassell Dictionary of Superstitions provides a fascinating overview of an astonishing diverse range of popularity held fears and beliefs. Many are still familiar and widespread. Others now belong firmly to the past, but are intriguing nonetheless for the insights they offer into human preoccupations and taboos." The operative words being "others now belong firmly to the past" and mean they are not NEW superstitions. I believe the wording was kept in the original format to preserve the history of these superstitions.

By the way, the word OMEN, which also appears in the definition of BELT, does not always mean negative, it is a phenomenon supposed to portend (predition of) good or evil. You get to pick depending on the intention!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Dennis Hendrix on October 25, 2009
Format: Paperback
I own four books that claim to be "dictionaries" of superstitions, and three that claim to be "encyclopedias" of superstitions -- along with numerous other books on the topic. Among all of these, I'd have to put this one somewhere in the middle. One thing it has going for it, the alphabetic articles are pretty well written, albeit not quite as entertaining and interesting as "Encyclopedia of Superstitions" revised version by Christina Hole or "Encyclopedia of Signs, Omens and Superstitions" by Zolar. It does take an international perspective and cover topics fully, and frankly has some beliefs I have not read elsewhere. However, the problem here, as with many other superstition "encyclopedias" and "dictionaries" is the lack of any references. This to me at least is a problem; I like to know where a belief came from. However, this is still a decent book on this topic, but if you intend on just owning one "dictionary" or "encyclopedia" of superstitions I would recommend Christina Hole's revision of "Encyclopedia of Superstitions."
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Johanna Jamison on September 13, 2003
Format: Hardcover
i look down on who decided that because of one definition, they returned the book. I in turn cary it around where ever i go, and find it's now my favorite passages to read in my spare time. This is an amazing book i shall never forget.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By fcsuper on June 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book is not really a dictionary, but more of a micro-encyclopedia. It does have an impressive list of items and the superstitions associated with those items. The problem is that the details given are very poorly researched and there are no sources sited. Each of the articles under each item are not well constructed or organized, particularly for the larger entries. There appears to be a lot of hearsay in the book. Without sources sited, the reader may become suspicious as to whether the author is pulling their leg, or was having his leg pulled by someone else. There has got to be better sources for this information.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amanda Jade on September 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This book is a fascinating and well-researched read. I have family in Germany that still believe some of these old superstitions (haha) - so the author didn't make them up.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Alane Fuller on December 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This "dictionary" is packed with information. Everything in here is interesting and collaborative and it's great for looking through on rainy days.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By CB on August 31, 2007
Format: Paperback
As someone with a great interest in myth, legend, and folklore, I am constantly looking for sourcebooks and reference materials on the subject. Some, of course, are better than others, and some are worse. Cassell's Dictionary of Superstitions is, I must say, one of the better ones, and I can highly recommend it. I bought this book sight-unseen and have not been disappointed. Within you will find references to a near-encyclopaedic listing of items, ideas, places, worldviews, etc. detailing the superstitions and beliefs associated with them. Most of these are written from a British perspective, but references to American beliefs are included as well. I've been able to find information in this book that I haven't been able to find on other sources and am exceptionally pleased with my choice. Highly recommended.
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By D. Bean on December 29, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an incredibly informative and fun book.. People are always interested in this kind of information. Often while waiting for someone, or just have a few minutes and don't want to read my current book, I will open the Dictionary of Superstitions and page through randomly and read the information. I am glad I got this book.
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