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The Life and Legend of Babe Didrikson Zaharias
Susan E. Cayleff
University of Illinois Press, 1995

An extraordinarily gifted athlete, Babe Didrikson Zaharias starred in track and field and won three Olympic medals in 1932. She picked up golf late yet quickly dominated the women's sport. She also competed in baseball, bowling, basketball, and tennis. 

Interviews with members of Babe's family, peers, and others inform Susan E. Cayleff’s story of the athlete and the difficulties she faced as a woman trying to be her own person. The American public was smitten with Babe’s wit, frankness, and "unladylike" bravado. But members of the press insinuated that her femininity, even her femaleness, were suspect. Cayleff looks at how Babe used her androgyny and athleticism to promote herself before crafting a more marketable female persona for golf. She also explores Babe’s role as a cofounder of the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA); her marriage to George Zaharias and their partnership in shaping her career; her romantic relationship with fellow golfer Betty Dodd; and her courageous public fight against cancer.


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Becoming Laura Ingalls Wilder
The Woman behind the Legend
John E. Miller
University of Missouri Press, 2005
Although generations of readers of the Little House books are familiar with Laura Ingalls Wilder’s early life up through her first years of marriage to Almanzo Wilder, few know about her adult years. Going beyond previous studies, Becoming Laura Ingalls Wilder focuses upon Wilder’s years in Missouri from 1894 to 1957. Utilizing her unpublished autobiography, letters, newspaper stories, and other documentary evidence, John E. Miller fills the gaps in Wilder’s autobiographical novels and describes her sixty-three years of living in Mansfield, Missouri. As a result, the process of personal development that culminated in Wilder’s writing of the novels that secured her reputation as one of America’s most popular children’s authors becomes evident.

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Bernard Berenson
The Making of a Legend
Ernest Samuels
Harvard University Press, 1987

Controversy swirls around Bernard Berenson today as it did in his middle years, before and between two world wars. Who was this man, this supreme connoisseur of Italian Renaissance painting? How did he support his elegant estate near Florence, his Villa I Tatti? What exactly were his relations with the art dealer Joseph Duveen? What part did his wife, Mary, play in his scholarly work and professional career? The answers are to be found in the day-to-day record of his life as he lived it—as reported at first hand in his and Mary’s letters and diaries and reflected in the countless personal and business letters they received. His is one of the most fully documented lives of this century. Ernest Samuels, having spent twenty years studying the thousands of letters and other manuscripts, presents his story in absorbing detail.

Berenson helped Isabella Stewart Gardner build her great collection and performed similar though lesser services for other wealthy Americans. It was merely an avocation and a useful source of income; his vocation was scholarship. But after 1904, when the book opens, his expertise was in ever-greater demand: a purchaser’s only assurance of the authorship of an Italian painting was the opinion of an expert, and in this field Berenson was preeminent. Increasingly he was drawn into the lucrative world of the art dealers; inevitably Joseph Duveen found it essential to enlist his services, at first ad hoc, then by contractual agreement. Samuels charts the course of Berenson’s long association with Duveen Brothers, detailing the financial arrangements, the humdrum chores and major contested attributions, the periodic clashes between the stubborn scholar and the arrogant entrepreneur.

The portrayal of Berenson’s relationship with Mary is especially intriguing: a union of opposites in all but brains and wit, bonded—despite love affairs, jealousies, recriminations—no longer by passion but by shared concerns. Impinging on their lives are those of a huge circle of friends and acquaintances in America and the beau monde of Europe. Both as biography and as a chapter of social and cultural history, it is a compelling book.


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The Life and Times of a Legend
Joshua Blu Buhs
University of Chicago Press, 2009

Last August, two men in rural Georgia announced that they had killed Bigfoot. The claim drew instant, feverish attention, leading to more than 1,000 news stories worldwide—despite the fact that nearly everyone knew it was a hoax. Though Bigfoot may not exist, there’s no denying Bigfoot mania.

With Bigfoot, Joshua Blu Buhs traces the wild and wooly story of America’s favorite homegrown monster. He begins with nineteenth-century accounts of wildmen roaming the forests of America, treks to the Himalayas to reckon with the Abominable Snowman, then takes us to northern California in 1958, when reports of a hairy hominid loping through remote woodlands marked Bigfoot’s emergence as a modern marvel. Buhs delves deeply into the trove of lore and misinformation that has sprung up around Bigfoot in the ensuing half century. We meet charlatans, pseudo-scientists, and dedicated hunters of the beast—and with Buhs as our guide, the focus is always less on evaluating their claims than on understanding why Bigfoot has inspired all this drama and devotion in the first place. What does our fascination with this monster say about our modern relationship to wilderness, individuality, class, consumerism, and the media?

Writing with a scientist’s skepticism but an enthusiast’s deep engagement, Buhs invests the story of Bigfoot with the detail and power of a novel, offering the definitive take on this elusive beast.


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Cas Walker
Stories on His Life and Legend
Joshua S. Hodge
University of Tennessee Press, 2019

Businessman, politician, broadcasting personality, and newspaper publisher, Cas Walker (1902–1998) was, by his own estimation, a “living legend” in Knoxville for much of the twentieth century. Renowned for his gravelly voice and country-boy persona, he rose from blue-collar beginnings to make a fortune as a grocer whose chain of supermarkets extended from East Tennessee into Virginia and Kentucky. To promote his stores, he hosted a local variety show, first on radio and then TV, that advanced the careers of many famed country music artists from a young Dolly Parton to Roy Acuff, Chet Atkins, and Bill Monroe. As a member of the Knoxville city council, he championed the “little man” while ceaselessly irritating the people he called the “silk-stocking crowd.” 

This wonderfully entertaining book brings together selections from interviews with a score of Knoxvillians, various newspaper accounts, Walker’s own autobiography, and other sources to present a colorful mosaic of Walker’s life. The stories range from his flamboyant advertising schemes—as when he buried a man alive outside one of his stores—to memories of his inimitable managerial style—as when he infamously canned the Everly Brothers because he didn’t like it when they began performing rock ’n’ roll. Further recollections call to mind Walker’s peculiar brand of bare-knuckle politics, his generosity to people in need, his stance on civil rights, and his lifelong love of coon hunting (and coon dogs). The book also traces his decline, hastened in part by a successful libel suit brought against his muckraking weekly newspaper, the Watchdog. 

It’s said that any Knoxvillian born before 1980 has a Cas Walker story. In relating many of those stories in the voices of those who still remember him, this book not only offers an engaging portrait of the man himself and his checkered legacy, but also opens a new window into the history and culture of the city in which he lived and thrived. 


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Chaucer and The Legend of Good Women
Robert Worth Frank, Jr.
Harvard University Press, 1972

Designed to fill a gap in Chaucerianstudies, this book offers new insight intothe development of Chaucer's artistry at acritical point in his career, after he hadcompleted the Troilus and just beforehe embarked on The Canterbury Tales. Chaucer and "The Legend of GoodWomen" rejects the usual criticalassessment of the Legend, setting it forthinstead as a serious and experimental work,an important and necessary prelude tothe achievement of The Canterbury Tales.

Robert Worth Frank, Jr., begins hisanalysis of the Legend with a carefulconsideration of Chaucer's situation in1386, the year he presumably beganthe Legend. It was, he suggests, a momentin his career propitious for change--change in subject and in art as well. TheLegend reveals this change in the process ofits accomplishment.

Frank stresses that the road to TheCanterbury Tales runs through the Legend.In tracing the route he shows howChaucer broke away from the limited tradition of courtly love and experimented with a variety of tones and styles and an expanded range of subject matter, with a new verse form, the pentameter couplet, and with new techniques of compression which led to a greater dedication to the short narrative form. The individual legends, though not Chaucer's greatest creations, have merits of their own. The general uniformity of theme proves misleading. The legends provide Chaucer with a broader canvas than he had ever used before, making possible a wide variety in tone and dramatic incident.

Above all, this study, enlivened by the author's supple and spirited prose, depicts Chaucer boldly committing himself to the great world of story and thereby drawing on some of the most enduring classical myths for material and moving toward a new art and a new and richer realm of human experience.


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The Colonel
The Life and Legend of Robert R. McCormick, 1880-1955
Richard Norton Smith
Northwestern University Press, 2003
This is the acclaimed biography of a giant of American journalism. As editor-publisher of the Chicago Tribune, Robert R. McCormick came to personify his city. Drawing on McCormick's personal papers and years of research, Richard Norton Smith has written the definitive life of the towering figure known as The Colonel.

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Frontier Swashbuckler
The Life and Legend of John Smith T
Dick Steward
University of Missouri Press, 2000

Few frontiersmen in the late eighteenth century and early nineteenth century epitomized the reckless energies of the West and the lust for adventure as did John Smith T—pioneer, gunfighter, entrepreneur, militia colonel, miner, judge, and folk hero. In this fascinating biography, Dick Steward traces the colorful Smith T's life from his early days in Virginia through his young adulthood. He then describes Smith T's remarkable career in the wilds of Missouri and his armed raids to gain land from Indians, Spaniards, and others.

Born into the fifth generation of Virginia gentry, young Smith first made his name on the Tennessee frontier. It was there that he added the "T" to his name to distinguish his land titles and other enterprises from those of the hosts of other John Smiths. By the late 1790s he owned or laid claim to more than a quarter million acres in Tennessee and northern Alabama.

In 1797, Smith T moved to Missouri, then a Spanish territory, and sought to gain control of its lead-mining district by displacing the most powerful American in the region, Moses Austin. He acquired such public positions as judge of the court of common pleas, commissioner of weights and levies, and lieutenant colonel of the militia, which enabled him to mount a spirited assault on Austin's virtual monopoly of the lead mines. Although neither side emerged a winner from that ten-year-old conflict, it was during this period that Smith T's fame as a gunfighter and duelist spread across the West. Known as the most dangerous man in Missouri, he was said to have killed fourteen men in duels.

Smith T was also recognized by many for his good works. He donated land for churches and schools and was generous to the poor and downtrodden. He epitomized the opening of the West, helping to build towns, roads, and canals and organizing trading expeditions.

Even though Smith T was one of the most notorious characters in Missouri history, by the late nineteenth century he had all but disappeared from the annals of western history. Frontier Swashbuckler seeks to rescue both the man and the legend from historical obscurity. At the same time, it provides valuable insights into the economic, political, and social dynamics of early Missouri frontier history.


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Harry Bridges
Labor Radical, Labor Legend
Robert W. Cherny
University of Illinois Press, 2023

The iconic leader of one of America’s most powerful unions, Harry Bridges put an indelible stamp on the twentieth century labor movement. Robert Cherny’s monumental biography tells the life story of the figure who built the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) into a labor powerhouse that still represents almost 30,000 workers.

An Australian immigrant, Bridges worked the Pacific Coast docks. His militant unionism placed him at the center of the 1934 West Coast Waterfront Strike and spurred him to expand his organizing activities to warehouse laborers and Hawaiian sugar and pineapple workers. Cherny examines the overall effectiveness of Bridges as a union leader and the decisions and traits that made him effective. Cherny also details the price paid by Bridges as the US government repeatedly prosecuted him for his left-wing politics.

Drawing on personal interviews with Bridges and years of exhaustive research, Harry Bridges places an extraordinary individual and the ILWU within the epic history of twentieth-century labor radicalism.


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History and Legend
Ideas and Images in the Ming Historical Novels
Shelley Hsueh-lun Chang
University of Michigan Press, 1990
History, according to the Confucian tradition, was a “comprehensive mirror” for aid in government: it was part of the great Way (ta-tao), the tradition of the governing elite. Fiction, which was originally referred to as “the talk of the streets,” belonged to the small Way (hsia-tao), the tradition of the governed masses. In History and Legend: Ideas and Images in the Ming Historical Novels, Shelly Hsueh-Iun Chang maintains that the historical novels blended legends with historical fact, making them a medium of interplay between the elite and popular traditions.
This combination of influences in the historical novels was especially significant during the Ming dynasty because of the rise of both urban culture of great refinement and diversity and a popularizing vernacular designed to promote learning among all people. These two exuberant movements came together in the historical novel to propagate the difficult and complex Official Histories of the governing elite, as well as to adapt unofficial histories and fictitious narratives, thus opening the way to the influence of the common people in literature.
This book is the first study of the novels from a historical standpoint. Combining traditional historical research with new source material of the historical novels and with analytical strategies, Chang creates a three-dimensional picture of the “historical world” of the Ming people. Chang compares issues of the dynastic cycle and political legitimacy of a regime, human ambitions and immortality, ethics in the relations between historical personages and legendary heroes, ideals of government and grandiose imperial institutions, and supernatural power and the justice of history that emerged from the historical novels with those in the Official Histories and Confucian canon.

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Horace Tabor
His Life and the Legend
Duane A. Smith
University Press of Colorado, 1989
Horace Tabor: His Life and the Legend is the first biography to give full attention to Tabor's mining, business, and political activities as well as to his matrimonial escapades. It is a careful and detailed portrait of a man so extraordinary that even in his own lifetime the facts were largely obscured behind the legend. Rarely has the Victorian American West, both good and bad, been better synopsized in the figure of one man.Show More an.Show Less

An 1858er who had spent nearly two decades following the will-o-the-wisp Colorado mining frontier, in 1876 Tabor was then living and working in out-of-the-way Oro City, near where Leadville would be one day. Soon thereafter came the Little Pittsburg silver strike, and Tabor's fortune took flight. Very quickly, Colorado - and the rest of the nation - was hearing about Horace Tabor. "Denver's lucky star was on high when Governor Tabor decided to spend his fortune here," praised the Denver Tribune in 1881. The Leadville Daily Herald (July 8, 1882) also understood his contribution: "Colorado has produced fortunes for many men, but no man who has met with success has so freely made investments in this state, as has Governor Tabor."

The events that followed that amazing silver discovery on Fryer Hill, May 1878 unfolded like a classic Greek tragedy. Tabor weathered them all, and his name has resounded through the succeeding decades. No other Coloradan of his generation is so well remembered, nor does anyone else so typify the tempo of this legendary mining era.


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Infinite Variety
The Life and Legend of the Marchesa Casati
Scot D. Ryersson
University of Minnesota Press, 2004
For the first three decades of the twentieth century, the Marchesa Casati astounded Europe: nude servants gilded in gold leaf attended her; bizarre wax mannequins sat as guests at her dining table; and she was infamous for her evening strolls, naked beneath her furs, parading cheetahs on diamond-studded leashes. Artists painted, sculpted, and photographed her; poets praised her strange beauty. Among them were Gabriele D’Annunzio, Man Ray, Jean Cocteau, Cecil Beaton, and American writers Tennessee Williams, Jack Kerouac, and Ezra Pound. Couturiers Fortuny, Poiret, and Erté dressed her. Some became lovers, others awestruck admirers, but all were influenced by this extraordinary muse. The extravagance ended in 1930 when Casati was more than twenty-five million dollars in debt. Fleeing to London, she spent her final flamboyant years there until her death in 1957. Now nearly a half-century later, Casati’s fashion legacy continues to inspire such designers as John Galliano, Karl Lagerfeld, and Tom Ford. Fully authorized and accurate, this is the fantastic story of the Marchesa Luisa Casati.Scot D. Ryersson is an award-winning freelance writer, illustrator, and graphic designer. He lives in New Jersey.Michael Orlando Yaccarino is a freelance writer specializing in international genre film, fashion, music, and unconventional historical figures. He lives in New Jersey.

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John Hance
The Life, Lies, and Legend of Grand Canyon's Greatest Storyteller
Shane Murphy
University of Utah Press, 2020

A legend in his own lifetime, John Hance (1837–1919) was synonymous with early Grand Canyon tourism. Between the late 1880s and early 1900s, to say “John Hance” was to say “Grand Canyon.” Hance was well known to travelers and visiting dignitaries alike, men such as William “Buffalo Bill” Cody and Theodore Roosevelt, the president who affectionately referred to him as “the greatest liar on earth.” It was said that Hance tried to jump the canyon on his horse Darby only to turn back when he was halfway over and realized he would never make it across.

The truth behind Hance’s life is remarkable even without embellishment. In this book, Shane Murphy chronicles Hance’s childhood in Tennessee and Missouri, his service in the Confederacy during the Civil War, his time in Union prisons as a POW, and his later adventures with the Hickok brothers crossing the plains. Settling in Arizona’s fruitful Verde Valley, Hance farmed and filled military contracts before taking up residence as Grand Canyon’s first permanent Euro-American settler, trail builder, guide, and renowned storyteller.

Hance left no correspondence, personal memoirs, or other writings. Only informal portraits from magazines and newspaper accounts remain. Murphy investigated assessors’ rolls, rare mercantile ledgers, and mining claims to create a full and compelling narrative of a man who was once an icon of the American West and should be remembered as the founding father of Grand Canyon tourism.


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The Legend
Marie Bronsard
Seagull Books, 2013
Now in paperback, Marie Bronsard's strikingly original memoir reweaves the history of her family—and the legend of her grandmother—leaving no stone unturned and no skeleton in the closet.

Egocentric and domineering, Bronsard’s grandmother was once a vibrant and sensual beauty. In Indochina at the end of the Second World War, she thrived in the social life of the French colony, but her young soldier husband sought a quieter existence, finding solace in the companionship of their adolescent daughter, Bronsard’s mother. The consequences of this choice reverberate throughout the family. But far from being an airing of grievance or dirty laundry, Bronsard’s memoir has the air of catharsis—here, the pain, secrets, and comic moments of Bronsard’s family are remembered with gentle humor, understanding, and affection. A wry irony tempers emotion, and it is in these pages that the author, at last, finds it possible to name the woman of the legend and perhaps bring her grandmother a measure of peace.

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The Legend of Job in the Middle Ages
Lawrence Besserman
Harvard University Press, 1979

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The Legend of Light
Bob Hicok
University of Wisconsin Press, 1995
Whether Hicok is considering the reflection of human faces in the Vietnam War Memorial or the elements of a “Modern Prototype” factory, he prompts an icy realization that we may have never seen the world as it truly is. But his resilient voice and consistent perspective is neither blaming nor didactic, and ultimately enlightening. From the shadowed corners into which we dare not look clearly, Hicok makes us witness and hero of The Legend of Light.

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The Legend of the Middle Ages
Philosophical Explorations of Medieval Christianity, Judaism, and Islam
Rémi Brague
University of Chicago Press, 2009

This volume presents a penetrating interview and sixteen essays that explore key intersections of medieval religion and philosophy. With characteristic erudition and insight, RémiBrague focuses less on individual Christian, Jewish, and Muslim thinkers than on their relationships with one another. Their disparate philosophical worlds, Brague shows, were grounded in different models of revelation that engendered divergent interpretations of the ancient Greek sources they held in common. So, despite striking similarities in their solutions for the philosophical problems they all faced, intellectuals in each theological tradition often viewed the others’ ideas with skepticism, if not disdain. Brague’s portrayal of this misunderstood age brings to life not only its philosophical and theological nuances, but also lessons for our own time.


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The Legend of the Wandering Jew
George K. Anderson
Brandeis University Press, 1991
When Christ, wearied by the heavy burden of the cross, leaned for a moment against a stranger’s doorway, the stranger drove him away and cried, “Walk faster!” To this, Christ replied, “I go, but you will walk until I come again!” So began the legend of the Wandering Jew, which has recurred in many forms of literature and folklore ever since. George K. Anderson, in a book first published in 1965 and immediately hailed as a classic, traces this enduring legend through the ages, from St. John through the Middle Ages to Shelley, Eugène Sue, and the antisemitism of Hitler to recent movies and novels. Though the main elements of the legend are a constant, Anderson shows how changes in emphasis and meaning reflect civilization’s shifting concerns and attitudes over time.

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The "Legend of Zelda
Ocarina of Time": A Game Music Companion
Tim Summers
Intellect Books, 2022
Critical analysis of the music of the iconic 1998 Nintendo 64 video game. 

More than twenty years after its creation, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is still held in high critical regard as one of the finest examples of the video game medium. The same is true of the game’s music, whose superlative reception continues to be evident, whether in the context of the game or in orchestral concerts and recordings of the game’s music.

Given music’s well-established significance for the video game form, it is no coincidence that music is placed at the forefront of this most lauded and loved of games. In Ocarina of Time, music connects and unifies all aspects of the game, from the narrative conceit to the interactive mechanics, from the characters to the virtual worlds, and even into the activity of legions of fans and gamers, who play, replay, and reconfigure the music in an enduring cultural site that has Ocarina of Time at its center. As video game music studies begins to mature into a coherent field, it is now possible to take the theoretical apparatus and critical approaches that have been developed in antecedent scholarship and put these into practice in the context of an extended concrete game example.

The most extensive investigation into the music of a single game yet undertaken, this book serves three important primary purposes: first, it provides a historical-critical account of the music of an important video game text; second, it uses this investigation to explore wider issues in music and media studies (including interactivity, fan cultures, and music and technology); and third, it serves as a model for future in-depth studies of video game music.

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The Life and Legend of James Watt
Collaboration, Natural Philosophy, and the Improvement of the Steam Engine
Donald Miller
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2019

The Life and Legend of James Wattoffers a deeper understanding of the work and character of the great eighteenth-century engineer. Stripping away layers of legend built over generations, David Philip Miller finds behind the heroic engineer a conflicted man often diffident about his achievements but also ruthless in protecting his inventions and ideas, and determined in pursuit of money and fame. A skilled and creative engineer, Watt was also a compulsive experimentalist drawn to natural philosophical inquiry, and a chemistry of heat underlay much of his work, including his steam engineering. But Watt pursued the business of natural philosophy in a way characteristic of his roots in the Scottish “improving” tradition that was in tension with Enlightenment sensibilities. As Miller demonstrates, Watt’s accomplishments relied heavily on collaborations, not always acknowledged, with business partners, employees, philosophical friends, and, not least, his wives, children, and wider family. The legend created in his later years and “afterlife” claimed too much of nineteenth-century technology for Watt, but that legend was, and remains, a powerful cultural force.


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The Lost Gold Mine of Juan Mondragón
A Legend from New Mexico performed by Melaquías Romero
Edited by Charles L. Briggs and Julián Josué Vigil
University of Arizona Press, 1990
Spanish and English version of Historia de la mina perdida de Juan Mondragón, with editorial matter in English. Includes bibliographical references (p. [249-262]) and index.

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Magical Tales
Myth, Legend, and Enchantment in Children's Books
Edited by Carolyne Larrington and Diane Purkiss
Bodleian Library Publishing, 2013
A faun carrying an umbrella. A hobbit who makes his home in a hole in the ground. An ill-treated schoolboy with a secret and a scar. Fantasy is among the most beloved genres in children’s literature— and its offerings are often just as eagerly anticipated by adults. But how is it that writers like J. K. Rowling and Philip Pullman are able to create such remarkable images?

Magical Tales
traces the origin of the genre back through Norse mythology, Arthurian legend, and medieval literature. Drawing on manuscripts and rare books in the renowned collection of the Bodleian Library, the essays turn the spotlight on spell books; grimoires, or magical textbooks; and books of legend and myth whose themes writers like J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis incorporated into their work, inspiring generations of writers that extend to the present day. In serving as a source of inspiration for later literary works, the contributors show, myths and legends have themselves been altered in interesting ways.

Richly illustrated, Magical Tales offers an enchanting take on the development of this wildly popular genre.

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Missouri Caves in History and Legend
H. Dwight Weaver
University of Missouri Press, 2007

Missouri has been likened to a “cave factory” because its limestone bedrock can be slowly dissolved by groundwater to form caverns, and the state boasts more than six thousand caves in an unbelievable variety of sizes, lengths, and shapes. Dwight Weaver has been fascinated by Missouri’s caves since boyhood and now distills a lifetime of exploration and research in a book that will equally fascinate readers of all ages.

Missouri Caves in History and Legend records a cultural heritage stretching from the end of the ice age to the twenty-first century.  In a grand tour of the state’s darkest places, Weaver takes readers deep underground to shed light on the historical significance of caves, correct misinformation about them, and describe the ways in which people have used and abused these resources.

Weaver tells how these underground places have enriched our knowledge of extinct animals and early Native Americans. He explores the early uses of caves: for the mining of saltpeter, onyx, and guano; as sources of water; for cold storage; and as livestock shelters. And he tells how caves were used for burial sites and moonshine stills, as hideouts for Civil War soldiers and outlaws—revealing how Jesse James became associated with Missouri caves—and even as venues for underground dance parties in the late nineteenth century.

Bringing caves into the modern era, Weaver relates the history of Missouri’s “show caves” over a hundred years—from the opening of Mark Twain Cave in 1886 to that of Onyx Mountain Caverns in 1990—and tells of the men and women who played a major role in expanding the state’s tourism industry. He also tracks the hunt for the buried treasure and uranium ore that have captivated cave explorers, documents the emergence of organized caving, and explains how caves now play a role in wildlife management by providing a sanctuary for endangered bats and other creatures.

Included in the book is an overview of cave resources in twelve regions, covering all the counties that currently have recorded caves, as well as a superb selection of photos from the author’s extensive collection, depicting the history and natural features of these underground wonders. Missouri Caves in History and Legend is a riveting account that marks an important contribution to the state’s heritage and brings this world of darkness into the light of day.


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Oedipus; or, The Legend of a Conqueror
Marie Delcourt
Michigan State University Press, 2020
Marie Delcourt’s brilliant study of the Oedipus legend, an unjustly neglected monument of twentieth-century classical scholarship published in 1944 and issued here for the first time in English translation, bridges the gap between Carl Robert’s influential Oidipus (1915) and the work of Lowell Edmunds seventy years later. Delcourt studies the legend in its various aspects, six episodes that have equal weight and that stress the same themes: greatness, conquest, domination, the right to rule—all of them bound up with the idea of kingship. Together they form the biography of a Theban hero, the fullest account that has come down to us about the prehistory of sovereign power among the ancient Greeks. Delcourt does not suppose that Oedipus, or indeed any other Greek hero, was a historical figure. The personality familiar to us from the plays of the tragedians of the fifth century—our oldest source, and a very late one—was the result of their extraordinary artistry in linking together themes rooted in very ancient social and religious rites that in the interval had come to describe the feats of Oedipus, then his life, and finally his character. It was in order to explain these rites, whose meaning had ceased to be understood, that myths and legends were invented in the first place. Oedipus, Delcourt argues, is the archetype of all heroes of essentially (if not exclusively) ritual origin, whose acts were prior to their person. This is a very different— and far more complex—Oedipus than the one rather implausibly imagined by Freud. More generally, the origin and transmission of the Oedipus legend tells us a great deal about the strength and persistence of public memories in prehistoric societies.

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Oscar Wilde and Modern Culture
The Making of a Legend
Joseph Bristow
Ohio University Press, 2009

Oscar Wilde and Modern Culture: The Making of a Legend explores the meteoric rise, sudden fall, and legendary resurgence of an immensely influential writer’s reputation from his hectic 1881 American lecture tour to recent Hollywood adaptations of his dramas. Always renowned—if not notorious—for his fashionable persona, Wilde courted celebrity at an early age. Later, he came to prominence as one of the most talented essayists and fiction writers of his time.

In the years leading up to his two-year imprisonment, Wilde stood among the foremost dramatists in London. But after he was sent down for committing acts of “gross indecency” it seemed likely that social embarrassment would inflict irreparable damage to his legacy. As this volume shows, Wilde died in comparative obscurity. Little could he have realized that in five years his name would come back into popular circulation thanks to the success of Richard Strauss’s opera Salome and Robert Ross’s edition of De Profundi. With each succeeding decade, the twentieth century continued to honor Wilde’s name by keeping his plays in repertory, producing dramas about his life, adapting his works for film, and devising countless biographical and critical studies of his writings.

This volume reveals why, more than a hundred years after his demise, Wilde’s value in the academic world, the auction house, and the entertainment industry stands higher than that of any modern writer.


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The Palatine Wreck
The Legend of the New England Ghost Ship
Jill Farinelli
University Press of New England, 2017
Two days after Christmas in 1738, a British merchant ship traveling from Rotterdam to Philadelphia grounded in a blizzard on the northern tip of Block Island, twelve miles off the Rhode Island coast. The ship carried emigrants from the Palatinate and its neighboring territories in what is now southwest Germany. The 105 passengers and crew on board—sick, frozen, and starving—were all that remained of the 340 men, women, and children who had left their homeland the previous spring. They now found themselves castaways, on the verge of death, and at the mercy of a community of strangers whose language they did not speak. Shortly after the wreck, rumors began to circulate that the passengers had been mistreated by the ship’s crew and by some of the islanders. The stories persisted, transforming over time as stories do and, in less than a hundred years, two terrifying versions of the event had emerged. In one account, the crew murdered the captain, extorted money from the passengers by prolonging the voyage and withholding food, then abandoned ship. In the other, the islanders lured the ship ashore with a false signal light, then murdered and robbed all on board. Some claimed the ship was set ablaze to hide evidence of these crimes, their stories fueled by reports of a fiery ghost ship first seen drifting in Block Island Sound on the one-year anniversary of the wreck. These tales became known as the legend of the Palatine, the name given to the ship in later years, when its original name had been long forgotten. The flaming apparition was nicknamed the Palatine Light. The eerie phenomenon has been witnessed by hundreds of people over the centuries, and numerous scientific theories have been offered as to its origin. Its continued reappearances, along with the attention of some of nineteenth-century America’s most notable writers—among them Richard Henry Dana Sr., John Greenleaf Whittier, Edward Everett Hale, and Thomas Wentworth Higginson—has helped keep the legend alive. This despite evidence that the vessel, whose actual name was the Princess Augusta, was never abandoned, lured ashore, or destroyed by fire. So how did the rumors begin? What really happened to the Princess Augusta and the passengers she carried on her final, fatal voyage? Through years of painstaking research, Jill Farinelli reconstructs the origins of one of New England’s most chilling maritime mysteries.

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Reading Medieval Latin with the Legend of Barlaam and Josaphat
Donka D. Markus
University of Michigan Press, 2018

In Reading Medieval Latin with the Legend of Barlaam and Josaphat, Donka D. Markus offers comprehensive commentary on the 13th-century Dominican theologian Jacobus de Voragine’s retelling of the ancient story of the life of the Buddha that will resonate with contemporary students of Latin.

Jacobus’s version of the legend serves as a compelling, original Latin text. Vividly conveyed through parables, fables, and anecdotes, it naturally lends itself to a critical consideration of ethical principles and philosophical truths commonly shared across many cultures. With its rich stylistic devices and authentic classical Latin word order, it provides superb training for reading rhetorical prose before advancing to the works of more complex classical prose authors. At the same time, the text offers a unique opportunity for systematically learning the special features of Late and Medieval Latin. Included in this volume are two presentations of Jacobus’s text: one maintaining the original orthography reflecting Latin as it appears in medieval manuscripts, and one in which the orthography follows Classical Latin norms.

This textbook is designed for intermediate-level learners of Classical or Medieval Latin, whether in college, high school, or by self-directed study. The 5,000-word narrative text lends itself to a semester-long experience of reading one continuous work of prose. Each of the legend’s embedded stories can also be read as an independent selection with the help of the ample commentary, vocabulary, and grammar guidance. The extensive introduction provides the necessary background to contextualize the legend in its Latin iteration and sufficient historical information to make the reading meaningful for those without prior knowledge of Buddhism or medieval history. Additionally, this work makes Latin attractive to students of diverse backgrounds, as it highlights the language’s important role in disseminating the universally shared cultural legacy of humanity.


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The End of a Legend
Ralf Georg Reuth
Haus Publishing, 2019
Erwin Rommel is the best-known German field commander of World War II. Repeatedly decorated for valor during the First World War, he would go on to lead the German Panzer divisions in France and North Africa. Even his British opponents admitted to admiring his apparent courage, chivalry and leadership, and he became known by the nickname “Desert Fox.” His death, in October 1944, would give rise to speculation for generations to come on how history should judge him. To many he remains the ideal soldier, but, as Reuth shows, Rommel remained loyal to his Führer until forced to commit suicide, and his fame was largely a creation of the master propagandist Joseph Goebbels. Stripping away the many layers of Nazi and Allied propaganda, Reuth argues that Rommel’s life symbolizes the complexity and conflict of the German tragedy: to have followed Hitler into the abyss, and to have considered that to be his duty.

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Scandinavian Folk Belief and Legend
Reimund Kvideland
University of Minnesota Press, 1991

An entertaining collection of over 400 folk tales of legends, stories, and magic. Translated from the original Norwegian, Danish, and Swedish, this highly acclaimed work is perfect for bedside or fireside reading.


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A Summer Up North
Henry Aaron and the Legend of Eau Claire Baseball
Jerry Poling
University of Wisconsin Press, 2002

June 12, 1952—only a local sportswriter showed up at the Eau Claire airport to greet a newly signed eighteen-year-old shortstop from Alabama toting a cardboard suitcase. "I was scared as hell," said Henry Aaron, recalling his arrival as the new recruit on the city’s Class C minor league baseball team.
Forty-two years later, as Aaron approached the stadium where the Eau Claire Bears once played, an estimated five thousand people surrounded a newly raised bronze statue of a young "Hank" Aaron at bat. "I had goosebumps," he said later. "A lot of things happened to me in my twenty-three years as a ballplayer, but nothing touched me more than that day in Eau Claire." For the people of Eau Claire, Aaron’s summer two years before his Major League debut with the Milwaukee Braves symbolizes a magical time, when baseball fans in a small city in northern Wisconsin could live a part of the dream.


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Texas Rangers
Lives, Legend, and Legacy
Bob Alexander
University of North Texas Press, 2017

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There You Have It
The Life, Legacy, and Legend of Howard Cosell
John Bloom
University of Massachusetts Press, 2010
This is the first full-length biography of the lawyer-turned-sports journalist whose brash style and penchant for social commentary changed the way American sporting events are reported. Perhaps best known for his close relationship with the world champion boxer Muhammad Ali, Howard Cosell became a celebrity in his own right during the 1960s and 1970s-the bombastic, controversial, instantly recognizable sportscaster everyone "loved to hate."

Raised in Brooklyn in a middle-class Jewish family, Cosell carried with him a deeply ingrained sense of social justice. Yet early on he abandoned plans for a legal career to become a pioneer in sports broadcasting, first in radio and then in television. The first white TV reporter to address the former Cassius Clay by his chosen Muslim name, Cosell was also the first sportscaster to conduct locker room interviews with professional athletes, using a tape recorder purchased with his own money. At the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, he not only defended the fisted "Black Power" salutes of American track medalists John Carlos and Tommie Smith, but he publicly excoriated Olympic Committee chairman Avery Brundage for "hypocritical," racist policies. He was also instrumental in launching ABC's Monday Night Football, a prime-time sports program that evolved into an American cultural institution.

Yet while Cosell took courageous stands on behalf of civil rights and other causes, he could be remarkably blind to the inconsistencies in his own life. In this way, John Bloom argues, he embodied contradictions that still resonate widely in American society today.

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This Storied River
Legend & Lore of the Upper Mississippi
Dennis McCann
Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2017
In This Storied River, longtime journalist Dennis McCann takes us on an intimate tour of the Upper Mississippi—from Dubuque, Iowa, to the Minnesota headwaters, and dozens of places in between. Far more than a travel guide, This Storied River celebrates the Upper Mississippi’s colorful history and the unique role the river has played in shaping the Midwest.

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Wisconsin in Watercolor
The Life and Legend of Folk Artist Paul Seifert
Joe Kapler
Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2018

In 1867, German immigrant Paul Seifert settled in the Driftless Area of southwestern Wisconsin and began capturing the distinctive farms and landscapes of his new home in vivid, detailed watercolors. Today, these paintings are coveted by American folk art collectors across the country, but Seifert’s life remains shrouded in mystery.

In this first book written about Paul Seifert, author Joe Kapler examines the life of this enigmatic artist and provides context for his extraordinary art. The book features high-quality reproductions of twenty-two Seifert watercolors (more than half of which have never been published) and many close-ups of his characteristic details, from horses and hay wagons to dogs and dinner bells. Part art history treatment, part coffee table book, part research memoir, and part love letter to the Driftless Area, Wisconsin in Watercolor shines a long-awaited light on Seifert and the land he so carefully rendered over a hundred years ago.


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Yours to Command
The Life and Legend of Texas Ranger Captain Bill McDonald
Harold J. Weiss Jr.
University of North Texas Press, 2009

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