Eliade wrote so much, there that are still titles out that that I have not yet read. This is an early one. Initially published in French in 1949, translated to English in 1958 and having been available in print since. It is a large work of 480 pages.
The book is divided over chapters, but mostly the paragraphs that we got to know Eliade for. So any edition or any translation can simply refer to ‘paragraph 109’. The book seems to contain all subjects that Eliade would come back to later in his long writer career. The sacred and the profane, sky and sky-Gods, the sun and sun-worship, the moon, the waters, stones, earth, vegetation, agriculture, the centre of the world, sacred time and symbols. His paragraphs go from subsubject to subsubject constantly shooting examples at the reader from any place in the world to any time in history. Eliade was a walking encyclopedia!
Because many subjects and example are rather folklore than (for example) mythology, I started to get worn off by the constant rapid fire. It is highly interesting to read about all the comparisons and different examples, but often they are mentioned, not (deeply) explained. This makes Patterns perhaps more of a reference book. Indeed there is a descent index and an extensive table of contents.
every magico-religious object or event is either a kratophany, a hierophany or a theophany.
Not everything that Eliade stressed in the present title, got as much attention in his later works, but we sure can see the basis for his later works in Patterns and perhaps that is the main reason to read it.
1949 Traité d’histoire des religions, 1958 Patterns in Comparative Religion, my edition 1996 Bison Books, isbn 9780803267336