Does anyone else remember these books? They were one of those deals where you bought the first book at a discounted price, then Time-Life would send you one each month (or maybe it was every other month) with "no obligation to buy." But of course these were so awesome I felt pretty darned obligated to purchase as many as I could afford. These books weren't cheap at the time, I think $20 each, but I couldn't resist buying several volumes. My collection includes:
Wizards and Witches
Spells and Bindings
Fairies and Elves
Legends of Valor
Giants and Ogres
I wasn't a big novel reader back then and The Enchanted World hit a sweet spot: Some text mixed in with gorgeous, full-color paintings and other illustrations. I've included a few of my favorites in this post. They were beautifully laid-out and fairly well-written as well.
Eventually my money ran dry and I had to stop collecting the books. I'm not sure how many of them Time-Life eventually published, but the collector in me sometimes has the urge to complete the run. In particular, I wish I hadn't missed The Fall of Camelot.
For the D&D fans out there, the picture below is The Wild Hunt, albeit a slightly different depiction than the one in Deities & Demigods. From Time-Life Books Ghosts:
Their great horses screaming, their hellhounds howling, the riders of the Wild Hunt coursed the northern skies. A host of the dead, they sought new companions from among the living.