The world around us is filled with signs and symbols. Those we have chosen to create, such as alphabets and flags, are universally recognizable, but others, of uncertain and ancient origin, mean different things to different peoples. Specially commissioned illustrations and photographs, including artifacts, famous paintings, and sculptures, provide a much-needed visual key to this mysterious language. Showing thousands of signs and symbols from East and West, The Illustrated Book of Signs & Symbols not only ...
The world around us is filled with signs and symbols. Those we have chosen to create, such as alphabets and flags, are universally recognizable, but others, of uncertain and ancient origin, mean different things to different peoples. Specially commissioned illustrations and photographs, including artifacts, famous paintings, and sculptures, provide a much-needed visual key to this mysterious language. Showing thousands of signs and symbols from East and West, The Illustrated Book of Signs & Symbols not only gives the meanings of each, but also explores the symbols' origins in art, religion, literature, psychology, and folklore. For ease of reference the signs and symbols are grouped by category, from flowers and religious symbols to shapes and numbers, and a clear cross-referencing system directs the reader to related signs and symbols.
Bruce-Mitford and Dorling Kindersley have produced another visually appealing book, but the topic is not as alluring as some chosen in the past. The author provides information on a wide range of signs and symbols divided into the categories of Mythologies and Religions, Nature, People, and Symbol Systems. If these headings seem a bit vague, it is probably because the subject is so vast and the process of categorizing symbols complex. An interesting technique that young readers might immediately be comfortable with is the use of "see also" inserts in the right corner of each page, mimicking the feel of a web page, complete with a pointing finger. This book might have limited appeal as a browsing title because of the nature of the topic. The coverage is comprehensive but not in-depth. Those who want to know exactly why, for instance, "to die in the Ganges and have one's ashes float away is the best of deaths for a Hindu" will have to look elsewhere for background information. A thorough Further Reading section will help guide those who wish to know more. Signs and Symbols does, however, provide a good introduction to the subject and is an excellent visual reference for students. Glossary. Index. Further Reading. VOYA Codes: 4Q 2P M J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses, For the YA with a special interest in the subject, Middle School-defined as grades 6 to 8, Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9 and Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).
Signs and symbols are parts of our lives that are often unnoticed or, if noticed, are not always understood. With this lavishly illustrated book, the author looks at the essence of signs and symbols and defines many of them in brief and simple terms. Bruce-Mitford, a contributor to The World Directory of Minorities (Longman, 1990) and a lecturer at the British Museum, covers a wide variety of symbols, explaining their significance from cultural perspectives throughout the world views. The introductory chapter discusses the differences between signs and symbols and offers brief overviews of ancient, universal, and modern symbols. The main body of the work divides signs and symbols into major categories such as mythologies, nature, and people. Within the categories are items such as ancient deities, planets, clothing, and international signs. Very handy cross-referencing on many pages leads the reader to related symbols. A useful glossary, index, and additional reading list complete the book. For lengthier and more comprehensive coverage of signs and symbols, Carl G. Liungman's Dictionary of Symbols (LJ 12/91) or Hans Biedermann's Dictionary of Symbolism (LJ 9/1/92) will serve better, but for straightforward definitions and excellent color illustrations, this book will be quite helpful. Recommended for academic and public libraries.-Elaine M. Lucas, Moline P.L., Ill.
From the caduceus as a familiar symbol for medicine and an up-ended horseshoe for good luck, to more arcane symbols from cultures ancient and modern, social anthropologist Bruce-Mitford differentiates between signs and symbols and explains the colorful array she presents by category: mythologies and religions, nature, people, and symbol systems. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.