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Dictionary of Superstitions Hardcover – March, 1996

4.4 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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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.
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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 (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,390,951 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bought this because I was curious about where superstitions come from and this book does exactly that! It's well-written and tells about any superstition you've heard of and even some you haven't. This is a great learning tool for adults and kids alike, and we dragged it out to check out why Friday the Thirteenth is purported to be bad just this past week, on Friday the 13th of September! It's a good book to have around to look up superstitions any time you wonder, too. I think every home (whether you subscribe to superstitions or not) should have this book, it is SO interesting!!!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Let's agree on this. Most of us are superstitious. Wonder why? David Pickering's dictionary tries to explain the rationale behind most of the common superstitions and their historical, geographical and cultural origins. Some of the superstitions cannot simply be wished away.There is a logical and scientific fact behind them. Whether you are superstitious or not, this book provides a lot of information on this fascinating subject. You will definitely change your mindset after reading this book!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very interesting information, nice to know where these superstions came from. I like to share the stories with everyone. A fun read. most people did not know of some of these stories. Most books and apps I get helps me to show someone how much a Kindle can be, and how many books you can store.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I got this book just for the fun of it, and I wasn't dissapointed. It's very entertaining when I have nothing to do around the house, and my kids always want me to read parts of it to them it has some very fun songs and rhyme in it.
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