Since its original publication by Little, Brown and Company, in 1942, Edith Hamilton's Mythology has sold millions of copies throughout the world and established itself as a perennial best-seller in its various available formats. Mythology succeeds like no other audiobook in bringing to life for the modern listener the Greek, Roman, and Norse myths and legends that are the keystone of Western culture - the stories of gods and heroes that have inspired human creativity from antiquity to the present.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.
©1969 Dorian Fielding Reid (P)2013 Hachette Audio
Love books! Classics and lighter fiction, mysteries (not too violent please :-). And selective non-fiction--whatever takes my fancy.
Edith Hamilton, who was a classicist, studied and wrote mainly about the way the Greek culture influenced the rest of the development of western thought and the arts. This book, written in 1942, is now a classic itself in a sense, as her views have had influence in this field since her lifetime of study of western thought.
This book is her choice of myths that she believed exemplified her views. The first chapter is interesting, as she outlines her way of thinking about the place of the myths to the Greeks at the time, and explains how she has chosen various versions from particular poets and what she believes the stories meant to each of them when they were first recorded.
The book begins with the creation myths, then goes on through the better known (or more influential ones) and concludes with some lesser known ones that have had an influence on western culture. While Hamilton's viewpoints are not the only ones about the place of myths in our culture, they nevertheless have had a great impact on how students of western civilization have thought about them since her work came out.
The narrator has a good quality of tone and pacing for the reading, but they are just matter-of-factly read, without too much emotional tone (which is right for these myths, in this context). Readers should consider being very familiar with all the world's great myths and stories, because they form a framework for much of the thought and literature we have created since. This book can be picked up and read anywhere, but if you desire the logical way she lays them out, suggest reading from beginning.
I was looking for a complete telling of Greek and roman myths. Instead the author injects too much commentary, drowning the original myths.
Unfortunately no, not only did it fail to tell a cohesive narrative of the myths, but poisoned the well with all her commentary and references.
Mythology by Edith Hamilton is a great book Greek Mythology novices (like me). It requires a certain amount of patience to stay with this book as it refers to a multitude of difficult to pronounce and even more difficult to remember names of characters from the Greek Mythology and of course there is the issue of remembering names of the same characters in Latin and in Greek. Having said that, this book does a very good job of introducing the different characters and their contexts to the reader. It also cross references characters playing small roles in a story to when to when their own stories are being told. The part that I probably enjoyed the most was the way Edith sets stage for the reader to understand the collective ideology and thought process of the times when these stories were told and the poets who told these stories in helping the reader understand and put in perspective the relative grandeur and treatment of the characters and incidents in the different stories.
Edith has picked up different stories in terms of detail, importance, grandeur and familiarity to the general population to define the sequence in which the book flows. What this results in is that the chronology of the events is severely impacted. The reader does have to stay alert in order to place certain events in the overall chronology of the single mythological fabric that is being woven by the writer. One can of course choose to ignore the mythology altogether and regale in the mysteries and the characters and their tales.
I would definitely recommend this one to any reader who is interested in the mythologies and wants a not too heavy introduction to some of the most seminal work from the 1000 years leading up to the advent of Christianity.
What a wonderful reading! I read this book back in high school but I really enjoyed this audible performance. The reader transformed her voice and helped me imagine listening to the ancient plays of Sophocles and Homer. This is a great companion to any edition of the book.
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