A Short History of Myth (Myths series)

Publisher: Vintage Canada
What are myths? How have they evolved? And why do we still so desperately need them? A history of myth is a history of humanity, Karen Armstrong argues in this insightful and eloquent book: our stories and beliefs, our attempts to understand the world, link us to our ancestors and each other. This is a brilliant and thought-provoking introduction to myth in the broadest sense – from Palaeolithic times to the “Great Western Transformation” of the last 500 years – and why we dismiss it only at our peril.


What is a Myth?
Human beings have always been mythmakers. Archaeologists have unearthed Neanderthal graves containing weapons, tools and the bones of a sacrificed animal, all of which suggest some kind of belief in a future world that was similar to their own. The Neanderthals may have told each other stories about the...
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“With characteristic incisiveness, Armstrong explores the development of myth from prehistory to the present day.” –Daily Mail (UK)

A Short History of Myth is a good companion piece to the series, and a fine primer on the basics of mythological truth.”
Toronto Star

“Armstrong has the gift of being able to compress a lot of information into a small space without losing focus or clarity … and she succeeds admirably here.”
Edmonton Journal

A Short History of Myth is a handy stand-alone overview of the ever-evolving partnership between myth and man from Paleolithic times to the present. Succinct and cleanly written, it is hugely readable and . . . often moving. . . . Armstrong’s exposition is streamlined and uncluttered without being simplistic.”
The New York Times Book Review