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Myths and Myth-Makers

Old Tales and Superstitions Interpreted by comparative mythology

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Author: John Fiske
Published: 1872
Language: English
Wordcount: 76,259 / 225 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 63.6
LoC Category: AG
Downloads: 2,826
mnybks.net#: 2601
Genres: Myth, Reference
Excerpt

fatal field, half dead with fear. He describes, with the loving minuteness of a contemporary, all the incidents of the Swiss revolution, but nowhere does he say a word about William Tell. This is sufficiently conclusive. These mediaeval chroniclers, who never failed to go out of their way after a bit of the epigrammatic and marvellous, who thought far more of a pointed story than of historical credibility, would never have kept silent about the adventures of Tell, if they had known anything about them.

After this, it is not surprising to find that no two authors who describe the deeds of William Tell agree in the details of topography and chronology. Such discrepancies never fail to confront us when we leave the solid ground of history and begin to deal with floating legends. Yet, if the story be not historical, what could have been its origin? To answer this question we must considerably expand the discussion.

The first author of any celebrity who doubted the story of William Tell was Guillima

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