A Little Book Of THE GREEN MAN
His face stares down at us enigmatically from the corbels and capitals of churches across Europe He has been linked to Robin Hood, Pan, the Oak King and the Holly King, he has been seen as a symbol of Life in Death and of Death in Life, he is echoed perhaps in the antics of Jack in the Green who goes before the May Day processions and he is evoked, too, in the leaps of the Morris-Dancersof England, the Burry Man of Edinburgh and the Leaf Men of Switzerland. Nobody knows his real significance and yet-everybodywho sees him understands without knowing that he represents something very deep and very important. For such a blatantly Pagan image to have persisted in Christian churches all over Europe surely implies a tremendous power and significance.In this book there are whisperings and echoes and though there are no concrete answers there are some paths and avenues that the Green Man might lead you down for he has a story to tell – if only we knew how to listen.
Mike Harding presents a selection of the most fascinating manifestations of green men, gargoyles, misericords and stained glass in this series. He explains the background and meaning behind each subject in text and illustrations.
Hardcover: 64 pages
Publisher: Aurum Press Ltd; illustrated edition edition (23 Jun 1998)
This small, compact hardback book is aimed to show the hidden world of the Green Man in the churches of Britain, Ireland & Europe & is neither biased towards Christian or Pagan interpretations of the Green Man. Priced very low for a hardback book, it is jammed with snippets of information & really is an absolute must.
Every other page has a full size colour picture with the explanatory page opposite also being interspersed with small colour pictures. Mike Harding, probably best known to most as a stand-up comic & for his Radio 2 folk music show has spent over 25 years searching for the Green Man both in Britain & elsewhere around the world.
Images shown are discussed within their context & tales of mythology & folklore are recounted as well. The Green Man appears on roof bosses, on pillars, on bench ends, misericords & in Borneo in church wall paintings. His spread is far yet his image remains essentially the same. The very unusual Green Man depicted as actually wearing jewellery by having a sun wheel around his neck at St Bartholomew’s in Much Marcle is also featured in this book.
Whether you have just a vague interest in the Green Man or are a more serious student of his background, this is a book that you will surely want in your collection, you won’t regret buying it.