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Signs & Symbols: An Illustrated Guide to Their Origins and Meanings Hardcover – 2 Jun 2008

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: DK (2 Jun. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405325399
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405325394
  • Product Dimensions: 20.4 x 2.9 x 23.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 91,527 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Miranda Bruce-Mitford has contributed to Longman’s World Directory of Minorities, the Macmillan Dictionary of Art, and the Larousse Encyclopedia. She has also lectured at Sotheby’s, the School of Oriental and African Studies in London and at the British Museum, as well as being a guest lecturer on art tours of Southeast Asia.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By GOS on 10 Jun. 2009
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Even after checking the "Look inside" feature in Amazon I wasn't sure exactly what I was getting. I was really looking for a book where I could look up a word in the contents, for instance power, and be directed to the relevant section for the signs and symbols, but it doesn't work like that. However, it is still a very good book - lots and lots of beautiful illustrations covering so many areas. It is divided into subject chapters like the Cosmos, Religion etc, which is helpful - I really dislike books on symbols in alphabetical order. The last chapter on Symbol Systems (like patterns, numbers and alphabets) was a really welcome surprise. I would like to see more modern references included but the subject of signs and symbols is very broad and it is difficult for any book to cover the subject fully. The book doesn't go into too much detail on any of the signs or symbols either, which suits me fine.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Dr. H. A. Jones TOP 500 REVIEWER on 13 Jun. 2011
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Signs & Symbols: An illustrated guide to their origins and meanings; Editorial Consultant - Miranda Bruce-Mitford for publisher Dorling Kindersley, 2008, 352 ff.

An encyclopaedia of symbols
By Howard Jones

This profusely illustrated book, in full colour on every page, is characteristic of these publishers, who specialize in so-called `coffee-table books'. There is a huge range of symbols described here - religious and tribal symbols, sacred trees, symbolic languages that use ideographs, like Chinese; other languages that do not use the letters of the English alphabet, like Arabic and Hebrew; symbols in mathematics, heraldry, art and architecture, astrological signs, I Ching and tarot used in divination, flags of the nations, body language gestures, heraldic emblems; and other symbols that humankind have created for social communication.

There is not a great deal of information about each symbol, but enough that each is clearly defined and described in the appropriate context. This is not therefore so much a book to read, as such, but rather to browse or to consult for specific topics such as those I have described. I have found it fascinating and informative. At the end, there is a Glossary of some key terms, some hundred books for Further Reading, and an Index, which is in rather small print!

Dr Howard A. Jones is the author of The Thoughtful Guide to God (2006) and The Tao of Holism (2008), both published by O Books of Winchester, U.K.; and The World as Spirit published by Fairhill Publishing, Whitland, West Wales, 2011.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Thomas on 22 Sept. 2014
Out of all the books I have acquired on symbology, I must say I am most disappointed with this one. Originally intended as another base book for my other literature (a kind of index), there is nothing wrong with the content per say, but it does cater more towards children and the presentation is quite bizarre.
If you are looking for a great book on this subject then the 'Illustrated Signs and Symbols Sourcebook' by Adele Nozedar is the way to go.
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Most interesting. Very usefull for my work. Good for teaching at all levels and lots of ideas for my occupation.
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By Checkout on 16 Jan. 2015
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Very interesting book love it
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Poesiela on 4 Aug. 2012
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I have very much enjoyed this book. Since it's been out on my coffee table everyone who has come to my home has picked it up and learned something just by browsing through it quickly. Its fun and educational. I recommend it.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jeff on 11 Dec. 2013
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All i hoped for with lots of interesting source material and information.
Excellent book with good information inside as you might expect from a book
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