Skip to main content
PBS logo
Want fewer ads?

Search - List of Books by Lewis Spence

James Lewis Thomas Chalmbers Spence (November 25, 1874 - March 3, 1955) was a Scottish journalist, whose efforts as a compiler of Scottish folklore have proved more durable than his efforts as a poet and occult scholar.

After graduating from Edinburgh University he pursued a career in journalism. In 1899 he married Helen Bruce. He was an editor at The Scotsman 1899-1906, editor of The Edinburgh Magazine for a year, 1904—05, then an editor at The British Weekly, 1906-09. In this time his interest was sparked in the myth and folklore of Mexico and Central America, resulting in his popularisation of the Maya Popul Vuh, the sacred book of the Quiché Mayas (1908). He compiled A Dictionary of Mythology (1910 and numerous additional volumes).

Turning his interest closer to home, he investigated Scottish folklore. An ardent Scottish Nationalist, he unsuccessfully contested a parliamentary seat for Midlothian and Peebles Northern at a by-election in 1929. He also wrote poetry, collected in 1953. He wrote about Brythonic rites and traditions in Mysteries of Celtic Britain (1905). In this book, Spence theorized that the original Britons were descendants of a people that migrated from Northwest Africa and were probably related to the Berbers and the Basques.}

Spence's researches into the mythology and culture of the New World, together with his examination of the cultures of western Europe and north-west Africa, led him almost inevitably to the question of Atlantis. During the 1920s he published a series of books which sought to rescue the topic from the occultists who had more or less brought it into disrepute. These works, amongst which were The Problem of Atlantis (1924) and History of Atlantis (1927), continued the line of research inaugurated by Ignatius Donnelly and looked at the lost island as a Bronze Age civilization, that formed a cultural link with the New World, which he invoked through examples he found of striking parallels between the early civilizations of the Old and New Worlds: the historian of science George Sarton remarked, in reviewing Spence's Introduction to Mythology in 1921, "Prof. Smith, it may be recalled, is the chief supporter of the pan-Egyptian theory; he finds traces of Egyptian influence everywhere, even in America". Spence's erudition and the width of his reading, his industry and imagination were all impressive; yet the conclusions he reached, avoiding peer-reviewed journals, have been almost universally rejected by mainstream scholarship. His popularisations met stiff criticism in professional journals, but his continued appeal among theory hobbyists is summed up by a reviewer of The Problem of Atlantis (1924) in The Geographical Journal: "Mr. Spence is an industrious writer, and, even if he fails to convince, has done service in marshalling the evidence and has produced an entertaining volume which is well worth reading." Nevertheless, he seems to have had some influence upon the ideas of controversial author Immanuel Velikovsky, and as his books have come into the public domain, they have been successfully reprinted and some have been scanned for the Internet, for the enjoyment of new generations willing to suspend critical disbelief.

Spence's 1940 book Occult Causes of the Present War (ISBN 0766100510) seems to have been the first book in the field of Nazi occultism.

Over his long career, he published more than forty books, many of which remain in print to this day. Spence was also the founder of the Scottish National Movement which later merged to form the National Party of Scotland and which in turn merged to form the Scottish National Party.

Selected Works   more

This author page uses material from the Wikipedia article "Lewis Spence", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0
Total Books: 386
Myths and Legends of Ancient Egypt with original illustrations
2021 - Myths and Legends of Ancient Egypt with Original Illustrations (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 9798514233366
ISBN-10: N/A
Genre: History

Myths  Legends of Babylonia  Assyria
An Introduction to Mythology
2016 - An Introduction to Mythology (Paperback)Paperback
ISBN-13: 9781530581528
ISBN-10: 1530581524
Genre: Literature & Fiction

The History of Atlantis
2014 - The History of Atlantis (Paperback)Paperback, Hardcover
ISBN-13: 9781500479121
ISBN-10: 1500479128
Genre: History

Myths and Legends of Babylonia and Assyria
2014 - Myths and Legends of Babylonia and Assyria (Paperback)Paperback, Hardcover
ISBN-13: 9781497421066
ISBN-10: 1497421063
Genre: History

Introduccion a la mitologia
2013 - Introduccion a La Mitologia [Mitos y leyendas - Spanish Edition] (Hardcover)
ISBN-13: 9788497941310
ISBN-10: 8497941314
Genres: Reference, Politics & Social Sciences

Incas mayas y aztecas
2013 - Incas Mayas Y Aztecas [Mitos y leyendas - Spanish Edition] (Hardcover)
ISBN-13: 9788497941273
ISBN-10: 8497941276
Genres: History, Reference, Politics & Social Sciences

Legends  Romances Of  Brittany
2011 - Legends Romances of Brittany (Paperback)Paperback, Hardcover
ISBN-13: 9781770832879
ISBN-10: 1770832874
Genre: Literature & Fiction

The Myths of Mexico and Peru
2011 - The Myths of Mexico and Peru (Hardcover)Paperback, Hardcover
ISBN-13: 9781241667030
ISBN-10: 1241667039
Genres: History, Religion & Spirituality, Politics & Social Sciences

The Popol Vuh
2011 - The Popol Vuh (Paperback)Paperback
ISBN-13: 9781461069102
ISBN-10: 1461069106
Genres: History, Religion & Spirituality

Myths and Folk Tales of Celtic France Legends and Romances of Brittany
2010 - Myths and Folk Tales of Celtic France Legends and Romances of Brittany (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 9781880954133
ISBN-10: 1880954133
Genre: Nonfiction

The Mysteries of Celtic Britain
2010 - The Mysteries of Celtic Britain (Hardcover)Paperback
ISBN-13: 9781161410075
ISBN-10: 1161410074
Genres: History, Religion & Spirituality, Politics & Social Sciences

Popol Vuh The Mythic and Heroic Sagas of the Kiches of Central America
The Myths Of The North Americans Indians
2010 - The Myths of the North Americans Indians (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 9781444658316
ISBN-10: 144465831X

The Myths Of The North American Indians
2010 - The Myths of the North American Indians (Hardcover)Paperback, Hardcover
ISBN-13: 9781444658781
ISBN-10: 1444658786

Mexico of the Mexicans
2010 - Mexico of the Mexicans (Paperback)Paperback, Hardcover
ISBN-13: 9781141502868
ISBN-10: 1141502860

The Magic and Mysteries of Mexico Or the Arcane Secrets and Occult Lore of the Ancient Mexicans and Maya
Mexico and Peru
2010 - Mexico and Peru (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 9781152417717
ISBN-10: 1152417711

2010 - Myths (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 9781152561274
ISBN-10: 1152561278

Myths and Legends of Babylonia
2010 - Myths and Legends of Babylonia (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 9781152561526
ISBN-10: 1152561529

2010 - Legends (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 9781152369467
ISBN-10: 1152369466

2006 - Native American Myths [Thrift Edition] (Paperback)
2005 - Barddas (Paperback)
2005 - Ancient Egyptian Myths and Legends [Barnes & Noble Library of Essential Reading - B&N Library of Essential Reading] (Paperback)
2001 - Clymer Yamaha Snowmobile Shop Manual 19972002 [Three-Cylinder Models - Clymer Snowmobiles] (Paperback)
1994 - Germany Myths and Legends [Myths and Legends Series] (Other)
1994 - North American Indians Myths and Legends [Myths and Legends Series] (Other)
1994 - Introduction to Mythology Myths and Legends [Myths and Legends Series] (Other)
1994 - Mexico and Peru Myths and Legends [Myths and Legends Series] (Other)
1994 - Egypt Myths and Legends [Myths & Legends] (Paperback)
1988 - North American Indians Myths [Myths and Legends] (Hardcover)
Espana [Spanish Edition] (Paperback)Paperback
Egipto [Mitologia - Spanish Edition] (Paperback)
Indios De Norteamerica [Spanish Edition] (Paperback)
Want fewer ads?