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A Book of Myths

Jeanie Lang

Book Overview: 

This is a collection of myths--mostly Greek with a smattering of others from the east--written in a clear and easy-to-read style. Lang complemented each myth with poetry by other authors who, like her, were inspired by these ancient stories of the gods. Lang chose these stories because they portrayed heroic gods, faithfully and blindly worshipped by man. Ultimately, however, these gods demonstrated the same frailties as humans, and were found to be just as corrupt. Still, as Lang said, in spite of this these myths portrayed "a wonderful humanity that strikes a vibrant cord . . . ." This is significant to a deeper understanding of the collection as it was published in 1914 against the backdrop of the first world war, the war to end all wars--a war that doomed millions of common men to suffer "Promethean agonies," and die on battlefields in a most un-heroic way. As you listen to the narration, compare the gods of myth--with all their human frailties--to the 20th century, god-like European leaders who traded the wonderful innocence of humanity for the notion of "a noble cause."

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Book Excerpt: 
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[Pg 46]

PSYCHE

Those who read for the first time the story of Psyche must at once be struck by its kinship to the fairy tales of childhood. Here we have the three sisters, the two elder jealous and spiteful, the youngest beautiful and gentle and quite unable to defend herself against her sisters’ wicked arts. Here, too, is the mysterious bridegroom who is never seen and who is lost to his bride because of her lack of faith. Truly it is an old, old tale—older than all fairy tales—the story of love that is not strong enough to believe and to wait, and so to “win through” in the end—the story of seeds of suspicion sown by one full of malice in an innocent heart, and which bring to the hapless reaper a cruel harvest.

Once upon a time, so goes the tale, a king and queen had three beautiful daughters. The first and the second were fair indeed, but the beauty of the youngest was such that all the people of t. . . Read More

Community Reviews

I learned a lot. Some of the stories were a bit dry, but for the most part I was sucked into the various stories. My issue was with the switching between the Roman and Greek names for the gods. If you were in a Greek myth, there were Roman names thrown in and vice versa. Made it a bit confusing.

Nom. Learned quite a bit.

When Icarus was compared to the young people in the beginning of the history of aeroplanes, I fell in love.
I liked a lot of the poems inserted to the various myths. They spiced the stories. The language of the prose is beautiful, you can tell the author truly loved these myths.

i cant read, hot to read it?

*Prometheus and Pandora (Women were invented to unleash evil on men! Gee, I wonder what women could possibly have against men after putting up with this sort of crap for multiple millenia)

*Pygmalion (Misogynist makes a statue and falls in love with it! Does someone wanna write a modern-day version o

Really good. Mythology from all over Europe. Greek, Roman, Irish, British, German, French.. and a Slavic country whose name escapes me.

This book is so good it tells myth from Rome and Greece to Germany

A Book of Myths
Author: Jean Lang
Publisher: Thomas Nelson & Sons
Published In: New York
Pgs: 244

REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

Summary:
Man stretches out his hands in the endeavour to understand. Through the human, we reach for the divine. The old peoples of earth made gods of their heroes and endowed them

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