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The Crone: Women of Age, Wisdom and Power Hardcover – May 22, 1986


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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Readers familiar with Walker's The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets ( LJ 2/1/84) will recognize much of the material in this new book and will appreciate its more coherent presenta tion. Walker uses the material to illus trate her theory that patriarchy has de stroyed the revered roles filled by women in prehistoric matriarchal soci eties. Likewise, she is convinced that the Christian church destroyed the women's religion that existed in these societies. Only by recovering societal roles embodying positive power for women can males be called into judg ment for their abuses of the earth and its peoples. Walker's attacks on men and on organized religion will be offen sive to some readers, but the book has many good points to make. Recom mended for larger public and academic libraries. Lucy Patrick, Florida State Univ. Lib., Tallahassee
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Barbara G. Walker, author of The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, The Woman's Dictionary of Symbols and Sacred Objects, and many other books, is a member of the Morris Museum Mineralogical Society and the Trailside Mineral Club of the New Jersey Earth Science Association.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 220 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1st edition (May 22, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062509284
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062509284
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.7 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #560,234 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Barbara G. Walker, author of The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, The Woman's Dictionary of Symbols and Sacred Objects, and many other books, is a member of the Morris Museum Mineralogical Society and the Trailside Mineral Club of the New Jersey Earth Science Association.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 55 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
I read this book into the wee hours of the morning because it was connecting the dots in so many ways. All the mythological names I had studied in high school and at the university were re-visited in her text and explained. She makes a very convincing case for how many female goddesses and especially, the trinities, were co-opted by the Christian theology. She takes a stab at Buddhism as well for being a religion of solipsism. The screed at the beginning, while accurate in my mind, may turn off some readers. I know it made me feel depressed and that there would be nothing new told here. But if you keep going you will be rewarded many times over. Walker's scholarship and analysis of myths and their re-working to non-pagan beliefs is excellent. Anyone reading this can approach it as a work of scholarship.
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42 of 43 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 26, 1998
Format: Paperback
Don't let the title dissuade you. This wonderful book is not only about older women who have reached the age of wisdom, it is about all women, across all generational boundaries. Many books of the feminist / spiritual genre provide an adequate context for the Goddess, but Walker's book truly gave me an entirely new way to look at my mothers, my friends, and myself. But most wonderfully, Walker provided me with a context for understanding the incomprehensible -- namely the senseless malice projected by so many men, onto the women they purportedly love. This book gave me comfort, nourishment, and relit the fire in my belly. I cannot recommend it too highly.
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Rhea_Worrell@prodigy.net on October 17, 1998
Format: Paperback
Barbara G. Walker has brought her incredible fund of scholarship to our astounded attention once more. Exploring ancient writings, making connections, illuminating our ancient past and current woes, the author has created a masterful work that explains so many, many things. This is a must read for everyone, and a work that will be cherished by thinking women over 40, yet men probably need to read this book more than women do... The linguistic revelations are especially striking.
It all comes together in The Crone. But be warned, don't read this book unless you're willing to be intellectually challenged vis a vis religion, language, anthropology, and feminism.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By leslieblanton@uswest.net on June 19, 2000
Format: Paperback
Every paragraph in this book is a bombshell revelation, written with passion and scholarly authority. It is a wellspring of inspiration and history for women -- history we have been denied about our own heritage. The book had enormous influence on me as a feminist. It is stunning in its intensity and scope. I wish everyone in the world would read it, although it would probably make the blood of traditionalist people boil. It contains explosive challenges to the patriarchal status quo, and particularly to patriarchal religions. There is much fuel for debate here. Strongly recommended!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By T. Krahl on October 16, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While many of Walker's ideas seem radical and controversial, the book is extensively researched, her thought process is logical, and in the context of current events the conclusions are totally believable. This book celebrates the place of perhaps the most marginalized group in our culture, while damning the methods and motives of the Christian church from the burning times through today. Crone deserves to be widely read both for its scholarship and its cultural import.
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16 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 9, 1998
Format: Paperback
It seems that the males who discriminate against women simply because they are older, more mature, and better able to cope with life are actually just sexist bigots. While older women have traditionially been considered sources of wisdom (including knowledge of sexuality), males have tried to usurp this traditional status with sexism, cowardice, and deceit. It is a relief to find so good a book on the subject. As feminists everywhere question, implicate, and overthrow the white male patriarchal agenda of hatred, older women will be able to regain their proper status as matriarchs.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Limner on November 20, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was a gift and the recipient made me feel so good from the moment she saw it because she made me feel like I'd made her day. So, the purchase was perfect in every way. I recommend this book for all women. You don't have to be older to appreciate the wisdom it offers. Younger women and men can learn from this wisdom as well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By RE Krause on August 27, 2013
Format: Paperback
Walker does a most creditable job of covering woman's role throughout history. First and foremost this is feminist literature. Remembering the author's viewpoint, it is a fascinating depiction of women's place in society. From pagan priestesses to today's independent competitive worker, the author finds much to support her own beliefs. She emphasizes, too, the different natures of females and males. Many men may find the book troubling but it behooves us to read writing that supports admiration of the aging whether those individuals be female or male.

Taking that in consideration, one can read the author's comments, views and historical references with respect to one's own. I truly enjoyed the author's take on the "crone" and how its negative connotations may have evolved. However, I found the description of this book all too brief. If you recall: "A probing account of the honored place of older women in ancient matriarchal societies restores to contemporary women an energizing symbol of self-value, power, and respect." There is much more to examine including the history of the woman's role in our culture.

The author uses references from history, the Bible, and today's society as she defines the crone. She questions the existence of a God who gave his son so that man may be absolved of sin while the religion centered about him insists that no man is without sin and must strive to be absolved of it. Inconsistencies such as this are cited from various religions as she outlines how women are often treated by those who practice the religions.

Society today usually views the crone as an aged woman to be tossed aside failing to recognize that those who have lived so long have much wisdom and experience to share with younger people.
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