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Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel



There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »
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In Search of Myths and Heroes: Exploring Four Epic Legends of the World

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In Search of Myths and Heroes: Exploring Four Epic Legends of the World Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In this compelling new book, accompanying the PBS television series of the same name, historian Michael Wood, whose renowned adventures have taken him to many remote and exciting places around the globe, now goes in search of four powerful legends: Shangri-La, the Golden Fleece, the Queen of Sheba, and the Holy Grail. Gorgeously illustrated by Steve Razzetti, with full-color photographs of some of the most beautiful landscapes and cities on earth, In Search of Myths and Heroes is a series of real journeys to real places and an encounter with the living descendants of the ancient cultures that produced the four legends. From the mountains of Tibet to the coasts of Ethiopia and Yemen to the city of Jerusalem and the far west of Ireland, Wood brings us along as he separates fact from fiction and discovers why these famous stories still captivate us.

Michael Woods In Search of Myths and Heroes explores four remarkable legends that have endured from ancient eras to modern times.

Shangri-la: The Paradise Myth

From Babylonia to ancient Tibet to Frank Capras movie Lost Horizon—the story of an earthly paradise has been immortalized through the ages. But was there a real Shangri-la?

Jason and the Golden Fleece: The Heros Quest

Possibly the oldest story in world literature and one still told today—from Gilgamesh to Star Wars—Jasons quest is that of a young man who must venture into the unknown to complete an impossible task. It is a story of bravery, treachery, and love, but what price must our hero pay for achieving his “mission impossible”?

The Queen of Sheba: The Woman of Power

The tale of Sheba, told for more than two and half millennia in Arabia, the Near East, Africa, and Europe, is the story of a woman who is a founder of nations, a fantasy lover, the personification of wisdom, adored and demonized in equal measure. Is this the fate of powerful women even today?

Arthur: The Once and Future King

Arthur, said to have ruled in a golden age, had his power broken by human weakness and greed. His story, the myth of the king who will one day return, is echoed in nearly every culture in the world. But who was Arthur and why do we need to believe in him and his future reign?

Copub: BBC

Synopsis:

In this compelling new book, accompanying the PBS television series of the same name, historian Michael Wood, whose renowned adventures have taken him to many remote and exciting places around the globe, now goes in search of four powerful legends: Shangri-La, the Golden Fleece, the Queen of Sheba, and the Holy Grail. Gorgeously illustrated by Steve Razzetti, with full-color photographs of some of the most beautiful landscapes and cities on earth, "In Search of Myths and Heroes "is a series of real journeys to real places and an encounter with the living descendants of the ancient cultures that produced the four legends. From the mountains of Tibet to the coasts of Ethiopia and Yemen to the city of Jerusalem and the far west of Ireland, Wood brings us along as he separates fact from fiction and discovers why these famous stories still captivate us.

Wood first pursues the legend of the hidden valley of Shangri-La, said to be a place behind the western Himalayas where the wisdom of humanity is preserved. A paradise myth, the story of Shangri-La has been immortalized in Frank Capra's movie "Lost Horizon, "but was there a real Shangri-La?

Wood then travels to Greece to explore the legend of Jason's search for the Golden Fleece, the ultimate quest, one even older than Homer's "Iliad "and "Odyssey. "But was there really an expedition beyond the limits of the known world in the mists of prehistory?

Traveling to the Horn of Africa, Wood turns to the fascinating legend of the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon, a story found in the Bible, the Muslim Koran, and the Ethiopian Book of Kings. The Ethiopians claim the Queen of Sheba founded their nation, but who, in fact, was she?

Finally, Wood travels through the Celtic countries of the British Isles in search of the tales of King Arthur and the Holy Grail. Was there a real King Arthur? And why does the quest for the Grail continue to obsess us today?

About the Author

Michael Wood, journalist, broadcaster, and filmmaker, is author of several highly acclaimed books, including Domesday (1986), In Search of the Dark Ages (1987), Legacy (1995), In Search of the Trojan War (California, 1998), In Search of England (California, 2000), Conquistadors (California, 2002), and In Search of Shakespeare (2003). He has more than eighty documentary films to his name, among them Legacy, Saddam's Killing Fields, Art of the Western World, and In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great, for which he also wrote the accompanying book, published in paperback by California (2001).

Table of Contents

Introduction

The Search for Shangri-La

Jason and the Golden Fleece

The Queen of Sheba

Arthur: The Once and Future King

Further Reading

Acknowledgements

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780520251700
Author:
Wood, Michael
Publisher:
University of California Press
Author:
Mich&amp
Author:
Wood, Mich&amp
Author:
L
Author:
Wood, L.
Author:
Razzetti, Steve
Author:
aelig
Subject:
Folklore & Mythology
Subject:
Mythology-Folklore and Storytelling
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20070231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
122 color illustrations, 6 maps
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
9.5 x 7.25 x 0.75 in 29 oz

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Related Subjects


History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Politics
History and Social Science » Western Civilization » General
Humanities » Mythology » Folklore and Storytelling
Humanities » Mythology » World Tales

In Search of Myths and Heroes: Exploring Four Epic Legends of the World Sale Trade Paper
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Product details 272 pages University of California Press - English 9780520251700 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , In this compelling new book, accompanying the PBS television series of the same name, historian Michael Wood, whose renowned adventures have taken him to many remote and exciting places around the globe, now goes in search of four powerful legends: Shangri-La, the Golden Fleece, the Queen of Sheba, and the Holy Grail. Gorgeously illustrated by Steve Razzetti, with full-color photographs of some of the most beautiful landscapes and cities on earth, "In Search of Myths and Heroes "is a series of real journeys to real places and an encounter with the living descendants of the ancient cultures that produced the four legends. From the mountains of Tibet to the coasts of Ethiopia and Yemen to the city of Jerusalem and the far west of Ireland, Wood brings us along as he separates fact from fiction and discovers why these famous stories still captivate us.

Wood first pursues the legend of the hidden valley of Shangri-La, said to be a place behind the western Himalayas where the wisdom of humanity is preserved. A paradise myth, the story of Shangri-La has been immortalized in Frank Capra's movie "Lost Horizon, "but was there a real Shangri-La?

Wood then travels to Greece to explore the legend of Jason's search for the Golden Fleece, the ultimate quest, one even older than Homer's "Iliad "and "Odyssey. "But was there really an expedition beyond the limits of the known world in the mists of prehistory?

Traveling to the Horn of Africa, Wood turns to the fascinating legend of the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon, a story found in the Bible, the Muslim Koran, and the Ethiopian Book of Kings. The Ethiopians claim the Queen of Sheba founded their nation, but who, in fact, was she?

Finally, Wood travels through the Celtic countries of the British Isles in search of the tales of King Arthur and the Holy Grail. Was there a real King Arthur? And why does the quest for the Grail continue to obsess us today?

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