New York: The Viking Press, 1959-68. 1st Edition. 4 vols., octavo, publisher's various colored cloth bindings, spines gilt, upper boards stamped in colors and blindstamped, illustrated endpapers (except fourth volume with purple endpapers), top edges stained various colors, original dust jackets.
First printings of all four volumes of Campbell's seminal work of comparative mythology. A literature professor at Sarah Lawrence College who split his time between his two-room Greenwich Village apartment and a home in Honolulu, Campbell drew inspiration from the work of a series of intellectual mentor figures, including Joyce, Freud, Jung, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, the anthropologist Leo Frobenius, and the linguist and historian Heinrich Zimmer, among others. During a sabbatical year spent traveling through Asia, he hit on the notion of the "monomyth," the idea that all mythological narratives partake of a common underlying pattern, regardless of their time and culture of origin. He first presented it in what remains his best-known work, The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949), but it wasn't until he began work on The Masks of God that he fully elaborated his theories of the psychic unity of mankind. While the work is undergirded by deep and wide-ranging scholarship, Campbell was determined to present his research and ideas in a manner accessible to a broad audience. Illustrated throughout with black-and-white drawings and historical reproductions from a variety of sources. Each volume with reference notes and an index. Unclipped dust jackets with minor edgewear only, else a fine set. Uncommon complete in all four volumes and in this condition. Item #1223