lamdha books -
Catalogue of books on goddesses

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Getty, Adele
Goddess Mother of Living Nature
Thames & Hudson Ltd., London, 1990.
Quarto; paperback; 96pp. Remainder. New. "I am the form of the immensity... the knower of the essence of things": from the dawn of time humankind has instinctively perceived the supreme power and protector, creator of all life on earth, as female. The Great Goddess, Mother Earth, is both womb and tomb of humanity - the sacred source of perpetual renewal. Though her cult has been ruthlessly suppressed and manipulated, she endures throughout the world as a powerful ancient memory, a living presence manifested in her myriad mythological and religious aspects, as Gaia and Cybele, Isis and Kali, Tara and the Virgin Mary. Today the sacred feminine is at last being redeemed and recognised as an archetypal ideal, symbolic of wholeness, strength and mystery.
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Griffith, Brian
A Galaxy of Immortal Women The Yin Side of Chinese Civilization
Exterminating Angel Press, Minneapolis MN, 2012.
Octavo; paperback; 317pp. Remainder. New. Inspired by a statue of the Chinese goddess of universal compassion, Guanyin, that stands in the author's hometown of Toronto, historian Griffith presents this wide-ranging anthology of Chinese goddesses. For centuries, Guanyin has been an object of devotion for Chinese Buddhists and, as Kannon, to Japanese and Korean followers. Working from the comprehensive history of Chinese gender relations published in 1995 by the Chinese Partnership Studies Group, the author seeks to prove that goddess-based faiths promote a strong 'reverence for life.' Written in a readable first person and presented in textbook format with chapter subheads, this catalogue of goddesses ranges from the dawn of creation and the half-snake goddess Nu Wa, to 20th century heroines such as Deng Yingchao, wife of Zhou Enlai. In addition to serving as a valuable historical reference guide, Griffith's study sheds light on the evolution of women's roles in Chinese society, from the early days of matrilineal 'womb' clans (a legacy still apparent in Taiwan) to revolutionary female activists of the 20th century. Includes maps, timelines, alphabetical glossary of goddesses and divine couples, and bibliography. - Publishers Weekly
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Haggard, H. Rider
Hesperus, London, 2013.
Octavo; gatefold paperback; 316pp. Remainder. New. "She" is the story of Cambridge professor Horace Holly and his ward Leo Vincey, and their journey to a lost kingdom in the African interior. The journey is triggered by a mysterious package left to Leo by his father, to be opened on his 25th birthday; the package contains an ancient shard of pottery and several documents, suggesting an ancient mystery about the Vincey family. Holly and Leo eventually arrive in eastern Africa where they encounter a primitive race of natives and a mysterious white queen, Ayesha, who reigns as the all-powerful 'She' or 'She-who-must-be-obeyed' and who has a mysterious connection to young Leo. The story expresses numerous racial and evolutionary conceptions of the late Victorians, especially notions of degeneration and racial decline prominent during the fin de siecle. In the figure of She, the novel notably explored themes of female authority and feminine behaviour. It has received praise and criticism alike for its representation of womanhood.
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Hughes, Bettany
Helen of Troy Goddess, Princess, Whore
Jonathan Cape Ltd., London, 2005.
First edition: octavo; hardcover, with gilt spine titling and illustrated endpapers; 458pp, with maps and black and white illustrations and 32pp. of monochrome and full-colour plates. Minor wear. Very good to near fine in like dustwrapper. "Bettany Hughes's book is partly an overview of the many attempts for 28 centuries to pin down Helen's ambiguous character. But the author's real interest is in locating Helen as a historical figure of the late Bronze Age, in describing what life would have been like for a Mycenaean princess of the time, growing up in Sparta and travelling to Troy. Believing that a real woman is the basis for the archetypes, hoping even that one day a body might be found, Hughes visits the places a real Helen would have visited, examines the corroborating evidence and does her best to peel back the layers of worship and storytelling. At the end, we aren't much closer than we were at the beginning to a human Helen, although much more knowledgeable about many Mycenaean rites and the various later re-imaginings of Helen as goddess and strumpet, fertility symbol and destroyer. And that's appropriate, too, because the great irony of Helen of Troy is that she is faceless. There are no contemporary images. Her face may have launched a thousand ships, although, as Hughes points out, it couldn't have been that many or Mycenaean civilisation would have collapsed, but we haven't got the faintest idea what she looked like....Helen, as Hughes makes plain, was born in a time before good and evil were conceived as distinct, oppositional entities. The first people to tell her story wouldn't have seen her as embodying contradictions and wouldn't have been unduly troubled by her half-goddess, half-human, conceived-by-a-swan, born-from-an-egg background. But already by the time that Homer made her the heroine of the first great work of Western literature four centuries later, her extraordinary female power had to be explained for a world that had relegated women to virtual invisibility. Once all the other versions of her story are added, and the attempts to appropriate her by later ways of looking at the world, it is easy to see that Helen is irresistible largely because she is so recondite. Any physical Helen can only disappoint. It is difficult to find a living, breathing woman whose face can do justice to the awe in Marlowe's perfect pentameters: 'Was this the face that launch'd a thousand ships/ And burnt the topless towers of Ilium?' ...She defies biography, because she is too many things to too many people. But what Hughes has done, very powerfully, is to explain why she has remained in history when most women have been written out. She splendidly reclaims Helen from centuries of helpless victimhood and .. puts Helen of Troy at the centre of a world in which, as Bettany Hughes convincingly explains, the primordial power was female." - Geradine Bedell.
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Hughes-Hallett, Lucy
Cleopatra: Histories, Dreams and Distortions
Bloomsbury, London, 1990.
First edition. Hardcover, octavo; green boards with gilt spine titling, green endpapers; 338pp., colour and monochrome plates. Minor wear; spotting to text block edges. Otherwise very good to near fine in like dustwrapper and professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. In her own lifetime and in the 2000 years since her death, the image of Cleopatra has been repeatedly reinvented, each time in a form that fits the prejudices and fantasies of the age that produced it. These fantastic Cleopatras can be read as mirror images of the culture that produced them. While this book is about them it is also about politics - sexual, racial and constitutional - and about morality, neurosis and desire. Above all it is about propaganda and the persuasive power of narrative. Cleopatra, a competent Hellenistic ruler who was celibate for over half her adult life, has been remembered as the heroine of an exotic love story. In asking why, Lucy Hughes-Hallett reminds us that story-telling is never an innocent occupation.
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Lawson, Nigella
How to be a Domestic Goddess Baking and the Art of Comfort Cooking
Chatto & Windus/Random House (Aust.) Pty. Ltd., Milsons Point NSW, 2000.
Reprint. Quarto; hardcover, with blind-stamped spine titles and decorated endpapers; 374pp., with many full-colour illustrations. Moderate wear; a touch cocked; spine extremities softened lightly. Dustwrapper is lightly rubbed and edgeworn; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good. "In a way, baking stands both as a useful metaphor for the familial warmth of the kitchen we fondly imagine used to exist, and as a way of reclaiming our lost Eden. This is hardly a culinary matter, of course: but cooking, we know, has a way of cutting through things, and to things, which have nothing to do with the kitchen. This is why it matters... So what I'm talking about is not being a domestic goddess exactly, but feeling like one. One of the reasons making cakes is satisfying is that the effort required is so much less than the gratitude conferred. Everyone seems to think it's hard to make a cake (and no need to disillusion them), but it doesn't take more than 25 minutes to make and bake a tray of muffins or a sponge layer cake, and the returns are high: you feel disproportionately good about yourself afterwards... The good thing is, we don't have to get ourselves up in Little Lady drag and we don't have to renounce the world and enter into a life of domestic drudgery. But we can bake a little - and a cake is just a cake, far easier than getting the timing right for even the most artlessly casual of midweek dinner parties. This isn't a dream; what's more, it isn't even a nightmare." - NL.
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Leeming, David, & Jake Page
Goddess Myths of the Female Divine
Oxford University Press Inc., New York NY, 1994.
Octavo; paperback; 189pp., with monochrome illustrations. Mild wear; covers a little rubbed and edgeworn; text block and page edges toned; previous owner's name in ink to the first page. Very good. Told as a biography, we follow Goddess from her first Ice Age appearances as the all-encompassing, all-giving, and all-taking Earth, to her re-emergence as a powerful force in the myths of modern religion, psychology, and science. In tales of the Changing Woman of the Navajos and of Hera, Pandora, Eve, and Lilith, we see her traduced and sublimated by rising, and then, dominant, patriarchical cultures and civilizations, but never totally suppressed. In familiar and unfamiliar myths, Goddess comes alive, pulsing with her own energy, irrepressible behind her many cultural masks. She can be the Universe itself, the source of all being, the holy Virgin, the Earth-Mother nurturer, the madly hysterical destroyer, the femme fatale, or the consort or mother of God. She is presented here not as myth, but as a true archetype, a potential being who exists in all of us, a force who long preceded her male counterpart as an appropriate metaphor for the Great Mystery of existence.
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Matthews, John
Sir Gawain Knight of the Goddess
Inner Traditions, Rochester VT, 2003.
Octavo; paperback; 208pp., with some monochrome illustrations. Remainder. New. Sir Gawain, the nephew of King Arthur, was once the most important knight at Arthur's court, a shining example of all that was best in chivalry. He even outranked the famous Lancelot. Yet as the popularity of the Arthurian romances grew, the character of Gawain became increasingly diminished in popular literature. John Matthews explores the phenomenon that influenced the recasting of Gawain from hero to womanizing villain, providing a scholarly context through which Gawain's role as the representative of the Goddess upon Earth - the real Green Knight of Camelot and Sovereignty's Champion - may be restored. In addition, the author presents a unique view of the mythology of Britain and its connections with the historical changes that took place over many hundreds of years in the religious and mystical traditions of the country.
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Morbio, Vittoria Crespi (ed.)
Femmes Fatales at the Opera
Scala, Amici della & Unberto Allemandi & C, Turin, 2009.
Quarto hardcover; pale green/gray boards with black spine titling and green / gray endpapers; 208pp., colour and monochrome illustrations. Mild wear to dustwrapper edges (now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film). Otherwise near fine. The "belle dame sans merci" as personified in the poem by Keats, the seductress who drives men insane and slowly but surely to their ruin, is one of the myths of modern culture, pervading literature, drama, figurative arts, cinema. In opera the "femme fatale" is an archetype encompassing the magicians of antique phantasmagorias like Alcine and Armida, as well as Carmen, Salome and the most representative of all, Lulu, who wraps in her lethal coils all the men she meets, finally succumbing to Jack the Ripper's blade. A painstaking study of the figures of the great singers, carried out at the most famous opera theatres in the world, assembled in this book the most stunning pictures of the enchantresses in music, who forever will outpour charm and poison, beauty and perdition, over all those who are fated to love them.
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Sands, Frederick, & Sven Broman
The Divine Garbo
Hutchinson, Richmond, 1972.
Square quarto hardcover; maroon cloth boards with gilt spine titling, mauve endpapers 243pp., monochrome illustrations. Minor wear; offsetting to endpapers and lightly spotted text block edges. Red illustrated dustwrapper with small missing segment on head of spine, chipping at corners and spine slightly faded; a few small tears and creases. Otherwise very good and professionally protected by archival film with white paper backing. In addition to the revealing text, this book provides the most complete collection of Garbo photos ever assembled. Included are rare shots from her early years in Sweden and a spectacular series of stills showing Garbo in many of her screen roles. Never-before-seen pictures of Garbo with one of the most prominent men in her life, Gayelord Hauser, taken during the 1940s in Nassau, the Bahamas, and at Lake Tahoe NV, portray a Garbo the public has never seen. In photos taken by a friend, we see her simple nature, her ease and charm, her warmth as she appeared in various outings with Hauser. Until now, Garbo has been viewed only from afar, a subject for adoration, speculation, and criticism. Here, for the first time, she is captured up close, a flesh-and-blood person, revealing herself as the always fascinating, but ever mysterious woman who has been, for generations, in a class all by herself.
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Shearer, Ann
Athene Image and Energy
Viking Arkana/Penguin Books (Aust.) Pty. Ltd., Ringwood Vic., 1996.
Octavo; hardcover, with gilt spine titles; 310pp., with 24pp. of monochrome plates. Minor wear; text block and page edges very lightly toned; some mild spots and marks to the text block edges. Dustwrapper lightly edgeworn with an old security device to the verso of the spine panel; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Near fine. When Athene sprang full-grown from her father Zeus's head, a new image of the feminine was born to Western consciousness - an image that has been central to its myth of progress ever since. Yet is has been hard to honour the paradoxical complexity of a goddess who presides over war as well as the peaceful arts, who subverts the ruling order as much as she seems to support it. Starting from a penetrating analysis of the goddess's mythologies and beginnings, Ann Shearer shows how mainstream consciousness, from the early Church Fathers onwards, has diluted and even suppressed the original power of the image, until this embodiment of a special kind of focused energy became seen as a disembodied mind. But she shows too how another image of Athene has been carried on an underground stream that runs through the Christian Gnostics, the cult of the Black Virgin and the mysteries of alchemy. The energy has not been lost: this book skilfully reminds us of what we already half knew. Can we now honour the fullness of Athene's battling energy? What is its place in today's society? These are the kinds of question this thought-provoking book addresses. And in her evocations of images of the goddess through the ages, the author is indeed helping to reclaim Athene's energy for us now.
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Stone, Merlin
The Paradise Papers The Suppression of Women's Rites
Virago, London, 1976.
Octavo; hardcover, with silver-gilt spine-titling; 275pp., with 16pp. of monochrome plates. Near fine in like dustwrapper. In this volume, Merlin Stone posits the notion that, until the rise of the Judaeo-Christian religions, the Creator deity was traditionally represented as female. After the conversion to monotheism in its many forms across the world, such myths as the Garden of Eden - wherein Eve is created as an afterthought and then becomes the scapegoat for the Fall from Grace - arose to suppress the power and role of women in society. Replete with a wealth of archaeological evidence and analysis, this volume peels back the patriarchal veneer of civilisation, as it has developed from the time of Christ, to reveal the feminist foundations beneath.
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Taylor, John Russell
Ingrid Bergman
St Martin's Press, New York, 1983.
First US edition quarto hardcover; black boards with gilt spine titling; 128pp., monochrome illustrations. Owner's name. Minor wear; toned and spotted text block edges; mild offsetting to endpapers; dustwrapper edges and corners slightly worn and spine faded. Very good to near fine. Ingrid Bergman considered herself a simple woman who loved to act. But to her audience and to those around her, she was an enigma, a mass of contradictions: a natural beauty who believed she was an ugly duckling, a star who shone brightest when playing the characters closest to herself but who always longed to escape the stereotype, a woman dominated always by her strict, almost puritanical, upbringing who nevertheless found herself a torchbearer for sexual liberation.
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Walker, Susan, & Peter Higgs
Cleopatra of Egypt - From History to Myth
British Museum Press, London, 2001.
Quarto paperback, 384pp., colour and monochrome illustrations. Minor wear; faint spotting to upper text block edges; minimal wear to cover edges and small crease on lower front corner. Very good to near fine. Fabled for her sexual allure and cunning intelligence, Cleopatra VII of Egypt has fascinated generations of admirers and detractors since her tumultuous life ended in suicide on Octavian's capture of Egypt as Hellenistic Greek kings and Egyptian pharaohs for 300 years. Cleopatra created her own mythology, becoming an icon in her own lifetime and even more so after her death. This illustrated catalogue, published to accompany a major exhibition explores the ways in which she was depicted in antiquity, within the context of the iconography of contemporary coinage, statues and other images of Egyptian, Greek and Roman rulers.
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