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Distributed for Reaktion Books


Nature and Culture

Distributed for Reaktion Books


Nature and Culture

Long before a rocket hit the Man in the Moon in the eye in Georges Méliès’s early film Le Voyage dans la Lune, the earth’s lone satellite had entranced humans. We have worshipped it as a deity, believed it to cause madness, used it as a means of organizing time, and we now know that it manipulates the tides—our understanding of the moon continues to evolve. Following the moon from its origins to its rich cultural resonance in literature, art, religion, and politics, Moon provides a comprehensive account of the significance of our lunar companion.
Edgar Williams explores the interdependence of the Earth and the moon, not only the possibility that life on Earth would not be viable without the moon, but also the way it has embedded itself in culture. In addition to delving into roles the moon has played in literature from science fiction and comics to poetry, he examines how Elizabeth I was worshipped as the moon goddess Diana, the moon’s place in folklore and astrology, and humanity’s long-standing dream of inhabiting its surface. Filled with entertaining anecdotes, this book is the kind of succinct, witty, and informative look at everything lunar that only comes around once in a blue moon.

224 pages | 70 color plates, 30 halftones | 5 4/5 x 8 1/4 | © 2014


Earth Sciences: General Earth Sciences

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“An enlightening and interesting account of the Moon and its continuing and expanding influence on mankind.”

Sky at Night Magazine

Table of Contents


1. Lunar Shadows

2. Time and Motion

3. Stories and Legends

4. Man and the Moon

5. Lunar Art and Literature

6. One Small Step for a Man, One Giant Leap for Mankind

7. Legacy

Timeline for Moon Landings


Select Bibliography

Associations and Websites


Photo Acknowledgements


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