Tag Archives: legend

Mr Spencer’s scones are legendary. Their ingredients are mixed in such perfect harmony that eating them obliterates all the obstacles to love that exist within one’s soul.

Mike Russell, Nothing Is Strange

Romancing the Goddess

Romancing the Goddess: Three Middle English Romances about Women by Marijane Osborn, a 1998 paperback from University of Illinois Press, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Marijane Osborn Romancing the Goddess from University of Illinois Press

“Take three exciting medieval romances, translate them—two for the first time—into modern English verse, and you’ll have only part of Marijane Osborn’s Romancing the Goddess.

Osborn introduces and translates the three tales, all dealing with women cast adrift upon the northern and Mediterranean seas, then shows how the stories forge a hitherto missing link with worship of a savior goddess in the distant past.

Arguing that the idea of the woman cast adrift can be traced to an ancient Mediterranean legend connecting aspects of the Virgin Mary and Isis as ‘sea goddesses’—protectors of those at sea—Osborn then explores the image and idea of ‘the Goddess.’ The romances and the author’s discussion of that ever-popular female figure will interest feminists, women readers generally, medievalists, historians of religion, and the many others interested in the mysterious figure we call ‘the Goddess.'” — back cover


Edmund: the Untold Story of the Martyr-King and His Kingdom by Mark Taylor, a recent 2013 paperback from Fordaro, is part of the collection at the Reading Room courtesy of the publisher.

Mark Taylor Edmund from Fordaro

Available in print in the UK and as an ebook in the States and in the UK, the printed book contains additional and updated information than either ebook editions.

“Murdered by the Danes aged only 29 years
Declared England’s patron saint 20 years later
Worshipped by the Danes who killed him
Attended by royalty, honoured as far north as Iceland
Renowned for his miracles of fertility and protection
But his martyrdom was unrecognized for 250 years

Discover the untold story behind the legend of Edmund:
The explosive growth of Edmund’s cult
The significance of Bury St Edmunds
The symbolic landscape of East Anglia
The mystery at the heart of Edmund’s myth

The relationship between the king, his people, the land itself and the prosperity of the kingdom are intimately bound up with the myth of Edmund. This fascinating book explains how those traditions, passing through Viking, Anglo-Saxon and Celtic culture, unlock a new interpretation of Edmund’s story.

Accompanied by vivid photography and illustrations, this special limited edition includes an additional appendix of historic and original poems on the subject of Edmund.” — back cover


The Hermetic Library Reading Room is an imaginary and speculative future reification of the library in the physical world, a place to experience a cabinet of curiosities offering a confabulation of curation, context and community that engages, archives and encourages a living Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to contribute to the Hermetic Library Reading Room, consider supporting the library or contact the librarian.