A Short History of Myth


I shouldn’t hold my negative view against it really, it was recommended and I didn’t do as much research into what this was as I should. By the title, I was expecting a run down of myths through the ages, where they came from and how they changed, even if at a high level.

This is actually an essay on the way myth has been used by humanity through the ages, largely tied to religion and spirituality. It seems especially keen to drive home points about how the stories in the bible weren’t designed to be read literally. Given the author’s pedigree and area of expertise that’s hardly surprising.

It’s pretty dense, very dry and hard to relate to. It certainly discusses some interesting, large and deep ideas, but not in an accessible way. It always intrigues me when people claim to know the thinking and motivations behind actions and events from several hundred, if not several thousand, years ago.

Calling this a book is stretching the definition a little. It runs to 155 pages, but it takes some serious padding to get it that far. It’s little more than a paper. That did turn out to be a bonus though.

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This was a copy of the book

Reviewed: 14th May 2016