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The Greek myths

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This is one of the titles where later printings changed to quarter buckram and no stained page edges. This two volume set does cover Greek mythology but instead of a story like Homer’s Iliad these are the stories of where the Greek gods and deities came from. Keep in mind that anyone can view public collections - they may also appear in recommendations and other places. Please note that some of the links on this site are affiliate links for which I may be compensated (this does not affect my reviews nor cost you any money, but helps support my site hosting costs). Having said that though, I also maintain that this is still an enjoyable and eminently readable book, and one that you could pick up and open to any page and start reading and just lose yourself for an hour or two.

Stephen Fry recently retold an immense collection of the classic Greek myths in his book Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold, which would be excellent as a non-academic source with some more contemporary humour and delightful storytelling.

The reason there were various sets of fifty siblings is, according to Graves, because they were based on groups of fifty priestesses of this archetypal goddess, themselves representative of the fifty months of a “great year” (a king’s reign, which lasted one year). Games like Dungeons and Dragons have never appealed to me, and much as I like maps and strange lands, the works of Tolkien leave me cold. The reason the discus was involved in the deaths of various mythological figures (such as Hyacinth, Crocus, Phocus, Acrisius, etc.

Another historical novel by Graves, Count Belisarius (1938), recounts the career of the Byzantine general Belisarius. Charmed Life arrives in an explosion of magic in this edition illustrated by Alison Bryant and introduced by Katherine Rundell. Graves explains these via his theory that ancient kings were sacrificed at the end of their term (which is why so many sons kill their fathers in Greek myth), or that ancient kings could sacrifice substitutes to extend their terms (which is why so many kings sacrifice their children). The two I had bought were then reissued in the smaller format to match the later ones, so now I have a 'wonky' set on the shelf.Celtic Myths and Legends was compiled in 2006 by acclaimed folklorists Caitlin and John Matthews, with more lovely illustrations by Jane Ray.

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