Black Cats and Evil Eyes: A Book of Old-Fashioned Superstitions by Chloe Rhodes
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|Black Cats and Evil Eyes: A Book of Old-Fashioned Superstitions by Chloe Rhodes|
|Category: Politics and Society|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: A fascinating look at superstitions and their origins. The research is commendable but the book is very readable.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 192||Date: September 2012|
|Publisher: Michael O'Mara Books|
If you had asked me I would have said that I was not in the least superstitious. I don't have a horseshoe hung outside the house, don't have any concerns about the date 'Friday the 13th' and accept that a broken mirror is an unfortunate accident rather than a blight on my life for the next seven years. After all, it's simply a matter of applying logic to the situation. There are sensible reasons for not walking under ladders or opening an umbrella is the house. Not passing someone on the stairs is just being safety conscious, isn't it? Then my husband sneezed.
Bless you I said. I hope you haven't got a cold.
I'm fine, thanks.
Touch wood, I added.
Superstitions are ingrained in the human consciousness, passed on from generation to generation, occasionally gaining or losing a little on the way and they develop an amazing authority. We might know that there can be no basis for believing in the superstitions but a small voice in the back of the mind prompts caution. Friday the 13th might be a day like any other but many would not organise an important event for that day if there was an alternative. We worry about the consequences if we don't follow the superstition and something goes wrong.
In Black Cats and Evil Eyes Chloe Rhodes examines dozens of superstitions, some reaching back into the mists of time, others relatively recent. Each one is covered in only a page or two and whilst the research which has gone into each one is thorough the writing is not academic. The book is eminently readable. A reviewer occasionally finds that it's something of a curse to have to read such a book straight through, but this was a pleasure - and the book would be equally good to dip into simply because you were interested in a specific point. The comprehensive index makes this simple.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
The book would make an excellent gift, but don't dismiss it as trivia. It's very much more than that. We had much the same thought about Oranges and Lemons: Rhymes From Past Times by Karen Dolby.
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You can read more book reviews or buy Black Cats and Evil Eyes: A Book of Old-Fashioned Superstitions by Chloe Rhodes at Amazon.com.
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