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The Golden Fleece (Penguin Modern Classics)
 
 

The Golden Fleece (Penguin Modern Classics) [Kindle Edition]

Robert Graves
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Review

Shows the legendary cruise as one of the bawdiest, bloodiest, most boisterous expeditions of all time (Time)

Product Description

In order to reclaim his father's kingdom, Jason has been sent on an impossible mission - to take the golden ram's fleece that lies far away, guarded by a dragon. Jason, who is so attractive that women fall instantly in love with him, sets sail in the Argo, along with the greatest heroes of ancient Greece, including the surly (and often drunk) Hercules, the enchanting musician Orpheus and the battling twins Castor and Pollux. As they battle clashing rocks, monsters and seductresses, watched over by pitiless gods, they will learn that victory comes at a price.



In The Golden Fleece Robert Graves transforms Greek myth into a thrilling and richly imagined story, bringing the ancient world vividly alive.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 974 KB
  • Print Length: 404 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0141197641
  • Publisher: Penguin (1 Dec 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0069YVXUM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #96,562 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Robert Graves was born in 1895 in Wimbledon, the son of Irish writer Perceval Graves and Amalia Von Ranke. He went from school to the First World War, where he became a captain in the Royal Welch Fusiliers. After this, apart from a year as Professor of English Literature at Cairo University in 1926, he earned his living by writing, mostly historical novels, including: I, Claudius; Claudius the God; Count Belisarius; Wife of Mr Milton; Sergeant Lamb of the Ninth; Proceed, Sergeant Lamb; The Golden Fleece; They Hanged My Saintly Billy; and The Isles of Unwisdom. He wrote his autobiography, Goodbye to All That, in 1929, and it was soon established as a modern classic. The Times Literary Supplement acclaimed it as 'one of the most candid self portraits of a poet, warts and all, ever painted', as well as being of exceptional value as a war document. Two of his most discussed non-fiction works are The White Goddess, which presents a new view of the poetic impulse, and The Nazarine Gospel Restored (with Joshua Podro), a re-examination of primitive Christianity. He also translated Apuleius, Lucan and Suetonius for the Penguin Classics, and compiled the first modern dictionary of Greek Mythology, The Greek Myths. His translation of The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám (with Omar Ali-Shah) is also published in Penguin. He was elected Professor of Poetry at Oxford in 1961 and made an Honorary Fellow of St John's College, Oxford, in 1971.

Robert Graves died on 7 December 1985 in Majorca, his home since 1929. On his death The Times wrote of him, 'He will be remembered for his achievements as a prose stylist, historical novelist and memorist, but above all as the great paradigm of the dedicated poet, "the greatest love poet in English since Donne".'

(Image courtesy of The William Graves Collection.)

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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Robert Graves account of the famous greek myth The Golden Fleece is a remarkably enjoyable and well described novel.
The reader is taken through each stage of the adventure as though we ourselves were aboard the argo. The other characters which featured in the myth, mainly the argonauts were described in as much detail as was necessary, the reader doesn't get the sense that Graves is drifting from the topic at hand, just broadening the story.
A difficult read yes, but the reader is rewarded as the myth unfolds.
A must read for all greek mythology lovers across the world!
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By Angus Jenkinson VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
This is of course a Gravesian fable of a novel that has little to do with the original myth, which was an initiation or shamanic saga, the Golden Fleece being the transformed soul, which was sought after by the various initiates who founded the mystery cults and centres of the ancient world: Orpheus (the Orphic cult), Hercules (12 labours = 12 zodiac signs), Jason himself and so on. But if you don't mind a romantic fable playing with the ingredients of the original legend for its own purposes then this is a fine elegant read. He is a great novelist.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 13 Aug 2014
By R. Hood
Format:Paperback
gravesian fable vs original myth ? I think we should cast lots for it . .
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Everything you want to know about Jason, the Golden Fleece, the Argonauts and the voyage of the Argo. 28 Mar 2008
By Ramesh Gopal - Published on Amazon.com
This is the story of the mythic voyage of Jason and the Argonauts. In summary, the myth tells how Jason assembled a crew of Greek heroes and sailed the ship Argo to Colchis where he seized the Golden Fleece from King Aeetes and eloped with his daughter, the princess Medea. Most readers can readily understand Menelaus wanting to recover his abducted wife Helen from Troy, but what exactly was the Fleece and why would anyone want it? This book provides the answers. There are many versions of the myth, but with his unparalled knowledge of the classical world Robert Graves (widely recognized for I, Claudius) produced an outstanding, comprehensive and readable version. He synthesizes different primary sources into one whole. An alternative to consider is a translation of the Argonautica of Apollonius of Rhodes, which is one of the sources used by Graves.

Readers will learn the nature and history of the Golden Fleece. The book begins with events that took place long before the voyage of the Argo and concludes with a summary of what became of the major characters. The cultural milieu within which conflicts between Greek city states arose is described in detail.

In his version Graves deconstructs most of the mythic elements. Thus, the sons of various gods become children born to temple prostitutes of the appropriate deities. Hercules is a big, garrulous drunkard with a large club. This may seem unappealing, but the characters in Greek myth are morally ambiguous anyway and Graves' Hercules grows on one as an unstoppable force of nature, no less impressive than in the traditional version. When he is sober his arrows never miss and he is indomitable in battle. Conflicts between the gods are explained as conflicts between different forms of worship. They are thus transformed into the machinations of this or that priest against a rival at a different shrine. This seems reasonable. What I find fascinating about Graves' writing is his use of his own idiosyncratic elements within an otherwise familiar story. In The Golden Fleece he introduces the background theme of religious conflict between an older matriarchal form of worship of the Triple Goddess (a sort of Earth Mother like that of many primitive religions) and a new patriarchal worship of Olympians headed by Zeus, imported by the conquerors of mainland Greece in the pre-historic times shortly before the voyage of the Argo. In this telling nymphs are female acolytes of the Goddess to whom marriage and submission to a male are anathema, but who promiscuously `company' with available men as it suits them. This is anthropologically dubious but could represent an ancient Greek male fantasy/fear that manifested as stories of Amazons, etc.

The book is a little long-winded at times, but it is comprehensive and educational. Readers will learn everything they want to know about Jason, the Golden Fleece, the Argonauts and the voyage of the Argo.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fictional fable recasting the original initiation story 27 July 2014
By Angus Jenkinson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
This is of course a Gravesian fable of a novel that has little to do with the original myth, which was an initiation or shamanic saga, the Golden Fleece being the transformed soul, which was sought after by the various initiates who founded the mystery cults and centres of the ancient world: Orpheus (the Orphic cult), Hercules (12 labours = 12 zodiac signs), Jason himself and so on. But if you don't mind a romantic fable playing with the ingredients of the original legend for its own purposes then this is a fine elegant read.
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Golden Fleece, or Hercules My Shipmate 22 Feb 2012
By Kelly Peck - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I separated from Hercules My Shipmate 24 years ago but never forgot.
The characters live hard and strong, yet in numinous awe: Brooding skipper Jason, who couldn't punch his way out of a papyrus bag without Medea and Orpheus. And the bard-shaman Orpheus spins the fabulous myths, of Creation, of Prometheus, of how we entered the Iron Age; whose music out-Sirens the Sirens. Butes, who gets dead drunk on forbidden honey and jeopardizes the whole mission. Hercules, who wanders in and out of their lives like a doting uncle.
This book more than any other re-created the Goddess movement.
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