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The Forest in Folklore and Mythology
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The Forest in Folklore and Mythology

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  177 ratings  ·  17 reviews
"If you have a feeling for the mystery and enchantment of the woods, you will want to own this book." — Outlook.
Assembled from an enormous range of sources, this fascinating book is a mind-expanding compendium of facts, folklore, superstitions, myths, and anecdotes about trees and the forest. Included are descriptions of old forests; forest customs, temples and sacred grov
Paperback, 319 pages
Published December 19th 2001 by Dover Publications
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Dec 13, 2008 rated it really liked it
All kinds of stuff on forests and trees from various folklore, religion and mythology sources from cultures all over the world. Read this and go for a long walk in the woods alone at night and I doubt you won't believe there is something magic and spiritually alive in the forest.
C. S.
Aug 08, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
This is fine for what it is, and there are some interesting tidbits here and there.

But for one thing, it was originally published in 1928, so right off the bat the author has...opinions about other people that are not great.

For another, the title is a little misleading. I was expecting a book about what the forest in folklore and mythology means and how we've felt about it socio-historically. What it turned out to be is more of a bibliography.

Literally a list of every mention of of a forest or
Aug 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
A nice collection of myths and legends, both secular and religious, involving forests or individual trees. The stories are briefly retold, usually a paragraph sufficing, and are drawn from all cultures and eras. Many will be familiar to lovers of folklore and myth, but others will be new. Porteous helpfully documents his sources thoroughly making it easy to find the full story behind a legend. Among others, there are chapters on forests of romance, on ancient groves, and on the mythological deni ...more
Bendick Ong
Nov 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: humanities
If you are researching in fables and myths regarding forests, this is the book to refer to. It gives you a comprehensive guide to trees and shrubs, as well as all legends, superstitions and stories that are related to them. Unfortunately, there is a lack of organization in this book. For example, it starts with general intro on forest of old and of present in Chpt 1 before going to related romance and myths in 2. Then it goes back to intro of forestry and groves in 3 before going to spirits, nym ...more
Sandy Carlson
Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite go-to books for reading about the forest. It is all about trees, myth, folklore, and truth. Although it is dated (copyright 1928), it is not out of date. It takes me right into the woods in the different cultures around the world. I can read a paragraph and finish the entry, or read several pages at a time about a variety of locations.

If you are looking for a cover-to-cover read, don't read this book. If you're looking for fascinating information into various cultures
Christopher J.
Oct 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
I like books like this. It is more properly a miscellany than most books, so don't expect it to take up points and move them forward; rather it is simply a share of knowledge across a spectrum of folklorist and mythological sources with regards to forests in a very broad sense (i.e. it covers forests, trees, meadows and other geographic features) from someone who had exhaustively researched their subject.
Ronel Janse van Vuuren
Jan 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: folklore, non-fiction
Everything you ever need to know about forests and their role in folklore and mythology conveniently in one book. Some of the entries are quite short – but you can find the story behind the legend easily enough in other reference books thanks to the fact that the sources were thoroughly documented.

As a writer, I love “reading the (polished) notes” that Porteous made of forests – almost like he took a subject (e.g. forests in folklore) and wrote everything down that he found. Though it seems rand
Feb 05, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: scholarly-works
A Dover reprint of one of those grand old collections of random assorted lore on a particular topic, in this case, "The Forest" - mythology, folktales, and lore associated with forests from all over the world.
Jenna Glode
Aug 30, 2017 rated it liked it
this was informative, but the chapters were clustered with paragraphs put in no particular order, which makes the narration really random. it did have a huge abundance of interesting facts about myths and folklore all across the world though.
Jun 28, 2014 rated it liked it
Kind of jumpy and with incomplete-feeling entries, but at least it gave some good sources.
Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A difficult read, with ancient English, Shakespeare quotes and little in the way of 'kind' paragraphing, it is *so very rich* with folklore and mythology from *all over the world*. Scandinavian, Slavic, Indian, South American, North American, Pacific, Canadian, Japanese, Chinese and even more than that. It's everything you could want to know about trees *without* botanical knowledge. It is, truly, forests in folklore and mythology - and the constant inclusion of source books at the foot of almos ...more
Eric Sieker
Jul 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a great resource. There are hundreds and hundreds of myths and legends described in this book. Unlike most modern takes, this book doesn't really bother to interpret the myths. I found this refreshing. Also, as some other readers have mentioned, there are references on nearly every page. I look forward to going down that rabbit hole at some point in the future.
Aug 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Written in 1928, this book contains a breadth of myths and legends as compiled from historical sources by the author. For me, the organization of this book made reading it difficult. Legends are presented from several peoples; however, they are spread across chapters and the constant barrage of tree/forest facts makes retention difficult. Docking one star for organization.
Dec 21, 2019 rated it liked it
This book had a neat concept behind it and had plenty of interesting information to share! Sadly, the way the sections were composed was jarring and made reading the book a bit difficult to get use to.
Jan 20, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed
A reprint that's dated and perhaps reflective of the writing style back when it was first published? (In 1928 I believe.) The book is full of interesting facts about trees (as the title states) but beyond the chapters heading/subheadings, there does not seem to be any organization or rather synthesis of the facts into something that would let the readers discern patterns or see the bigger picture. Once in a while there may be a page or two at most about something so one gets some depth. Unfortun ...more
Jan 02, 2011 rated it it was ok
I found this book for the intent of reading more about "sacred groves" and my fascination with a fictional tribe of people in a video game (Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time). I admit I didn't read the whole thing. Even so, I was impressed how the author described the feeling of reverence to be felt when discovering a small, quiet glade in the forest.
Feb 08, 2010 marked it as to-read
Recommended to Monica by: Abigail
This will be on my next Dover order, thanks!
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Feb 15, 2011
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Lótë (Iris)
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Catherine Packwood
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Ross Newport
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