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Mythology [Facsimile] [Hardcover]

Thomas Bulfinch
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Aug 1997
For almost a century and a half, Bulfinch's Mythology has been the text by which the great tales of the gods and goddesses, Greek and Roman antiquity; Scandinavian, Celtic, and Oriental fables and myths; and the age of chivalry have been known.
        The stories are divided into three sections: The Age of Fable or Stories of Gods and Heroes (first published in 1855); The Age of Chivalry (1858), which contains King Arthur and His Knights, The Mabinogeon, and The Knights of English History; and Legends of Charlemagne or Romance of the Middle Ages (1863). For the Greek myths, Bulfinch drew on Ovid and Virgil, and for the sagas of the north, from Mallet's Northern Antiquities. He provides lively versions of the myths of Zeus and Hera, Venus and Adonis, Daphne and Apollo, and their cohorts on Mount Olympus; the love story of Pygmalion and Galatea; the legends of the Trojan War and the epic wanderings of Ulysses and Aeneas; the joys of Valhalla and the furies of Thor; and the tales of Beowulf and Robin Hood.
The tales are eminently readable. As Bulfinch wrote, "Without a knowledge of mythology much of the elegant literature of our own language cannot be understood and appreciated. . . . Our book is an attempt to solve this problem, by telling the stories of mythology in such a manner as to make them a source of amusement."

Thomas Bulfinch, in his day job, was a clerk in the Merchant's Bank of Boston, an undemanding position that afforded him ample leisure time in which to pursue his other interests. In addition to serving as secretary of the Boston Society of Natural History, he thoroughly researched the myths and legends and copiously cross-referenced them with literature and art. As such, the myths are an indispensable guide to the cultural values of the nineteenth century; however, it is the vigor of the stories themselves that returns generation after generation to Bulfinch.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 977 pages
  • Publisher: Gramercy,US; Facsimile of 1858 ed edition (Aug 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0517274159
  • ISBN-13: 978-0517262771
  • Product Dimensions: 22.4 x 15.2 x 4.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,072,127 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I found Bulfinch's in our school library when I was in the 4th grade, eleven years old. My mother had to go before the school board to gain permission for me to check it out. Even then, I was not allowed to have the book at school! The pictures and stories, in the board's mind, were too titillating for the other 4th graders. Thank God for my mother. I found a world I never knew existed, full of fantasy and beauty. The strife and conniving natures of both gods and mortals captivated me. The stories of the Greek and Roman myths were my favorites, and cultivated in me a love for both cultures. And as for the titillating parts, well, I promise you that General Hospital is far worse for 4th graders than Bulfinch's will ever be.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This is one of the most incredible books that anyone could ever own. Whether it be for a child, middle schooler, or adult, it has the ability to enhance imagination and inspire creative genius. It is a true shame that these stories aren't as well appreciated as they were in times such as the Elizabethan and Victorian ages. These stories have inspired poets, playwrights, novelists, and the non-literati as well. There is no possibility of considering oneself as a true intellectual without first understanding these legendary tales. Don't sell yourself short of owning this book. A must buy!!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bullfinch Mythology book 20 Dec 2009
I bought this book to replace one I have had for many years which has now fallen apart. This replacement book has a lot more than the old one which pretty much concentrated on Greek and Roman mythologies. This book is still the standard text in my opinion. Whether the material quality of the book will stand the test of time remains to be seen, but I suspect not. When it does fall apart however I will buy another.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A CLASSIC! 3 April 1998
By A Customer
Even after several readings, this old classic never loses it's lustre.
Why not invest a taudry amount and append a great anthology to your library?
From the Greek and Roman gods to King Author to Charlemagne, this has got it all!
If you own only one book on the subject of mythology, this should be the one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great! 18 Aug 2013
Came in great condition and was delivered quicker than I expected. The book is filled with so many enthralling stories, it's sure to keep you busy for a long time.
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