Classical Mythology

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 12 Oct 2018

Member Reviews

Travel back to a time when divine beings mixed with mortals, when heroes battled sorcerers, and nature was a mysterious realm ruled by beautiful and dangerous deities.

These gods of Classical antiquity were far from ideal role models, their jealous pride and vengeful egos wrought havoc on the world, reflecting very human passions - and making for some truly compelling stories.

From the legends of Hercules and the Titans, to tales of the underworld and the destruction of Troy, this elegant collection contains more than 40 fascinating tales retold by a variety of expert storytellers.

Beautifully illustrated with dramatic scenes from master artists of the 16th through to the 19th century, these enduring myths have formed a major part of Western culture for millennia and continue to capture our imaginations today
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Classical Mythology is a collection of retellings of popular Roman and Greek myths. The writing style of most of the short stories just wasn't for me but I  generally liked the stories.
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Classical Mythology is an educational book on classical mythology which included lesser known mythological stories.  Good content and illustrations.

I received an advanced review copy (ARC) of this book from the publisher through NetGalley for my honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Synopsis from Publisher/NetGalley.com
Travel back to a time when divine beings mixed with mortals, when heroes battled sorcerers, and nature was a mysterious realm ruled by beautiful and dangerous deities.

These gods of Classical antiquity were far from ideal role models, their jealous pride and vengeful egos wrought havoc on the world, reflecting very human passions - and making for some truly compelling stories.

From the legends of Hercules and the Titans, to tales of the underworld and the destruction of Troy, this elegant collection contains more than 40 fascinating tales retold by a variety of expert storytellers.

Beautifully illustrated with dramatic scenes from master artists of the 16th through to the 19th century, these enduring myths have formed a major part of Western culture for millennia and continue to capture our imaginations today.
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James Shepherd has collected many well and lesser known tales in this wide-ranging collection.  He has chosen different writers' versions for the stories and this adds to the depth and breadth of the book.  I first looked at myths that I knew to see if I enjoyed the re-tellings and I did.  I then explored further.  In some instances, the language of the story seemed "old fashioned," which made me feel like I was being told an old and well known story (in a good way).  The book is illustrated with paintings that add to each tale.  For lovers of mythology, this could well be a good addition to your shelf; it would also be a good introduction for those who have not been exposed to these very human heroes.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher.
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Classical Mythology by James Shepherd is a collection of 50 Greek and Roman myths told by a variety of authors and is classical told and followed by a beautiful illustration from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Stories include such classics such as Pluto and Proserping, Deucalion and Pyrrha, Epimetheus and Pandora, Hercules and the Golden Apples, the Wooden Horse, Ulysses and Cyclops, Midas, Romulus and Remus, and many more. This is a good introduction to many of the classics.
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Brilliant, educational read that explores know. Myths and some that the reader may be unfamiliar with.
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Beautifully written and easy to understand, the stories really came to life.  I loved the illustrations.  This should be on the shelf of anyone that enjoys mythology.
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Such a beautiful layout of mythology with good content for myths. I don't feel like it was refreshing or new in any way. But it's great as an intro!
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Nothing new under the sun here.  Pretty standard collection of various myths and legends. There are no major revelations on the background or genesis of the myths.

The greatest selling point are the images.  They are stunning, and this from a non arty person!  But they do lend some interest to an otherwise standard book.  It may be more enjoyable to someone who is new to the genre, my degree is in classical history so maybe I'm just a bit over exposed to them!
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As an introduction to basic mythology, this is a good collection. The stories are straightforward and easy to read, if a little dated. I think that a more modern, engaging narrative might have better served than such a dry delivery. Also, because so many tales are included in this volume, the stories are woefully short, almost clinically so. Something of the rich tapestry that draws us to myths and legends is lost here, but if passing familiarity is all you need then look no further.
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I don't know nearly as much about myths as I would like to so I was excited to give this book a go but it was pretty dull with the writing style. I think this would suit people who already know the myths and would appreciate the way this is written - they way it would have been years and years ago when these myths were first told - rather than someone new to the tales
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The writing style was very dry and most of the time it was hard to make it through a myth. I was really hoping for a new twist on these classic tales but that was not to be. I have to say I enjoyed Mythology by Edith Hamilton more than this book sorry.
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A remarkable re telling of the classic myths. I appreciate how the author brought them to life once more. Great job!
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I love that the old language was kept when telling the tales. It really makes you feel how ancient these stories are and how we are all connected.
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I’m a pretty avid fan of mythology, though my specific love happens to be for those of the Greek variety. Naturally, when I saw this book was available I coulnd’t help myself. Classical Mythology by James Shepherd is pretty amazing. It does follow a very similar pattern to many other books detailing the same stories—and believe me, there are a lot of them—but where the books I’m used to really only focus on one specific set of stories, I felt that this one encompassed a great many more that just made the reading experience a lot more enjoyable. 

I was over the moon when I got about halfway through the book and realized that the stories surrounding Troy were included in this collection of mythology tales. Troy has long since been a story that I’ve absolutely adored for the characters and the tragedy and ironically enough I’ve never really found many books that include the tale. I recall all the usual very strong emotions I feel for the characters of Troy once more and enjoyed every second of it. 

Admittedly, this collection did have one thing that I found myself vaguely annoyed by, though this is purely on a personal level and I don’t imagine it irritating everyone else. I didn’t like the fact that Shepherd chose to refer to the gods as their Roman names. Jupiter, Venus, Pluto, and Neptune are just not the ways I want to read about Zeus, Aphrodite, Hades, and Poseidon. I’ve avoided Roman mythology so much so that I genuinely found myself somewhat confused at first and, had I not already known many of these stories, might not have remembered which god was which. Even Persephone, who is one of my favorites—partially because her name is similar to mine and thus really cool—becomes Proserpine.

So while I love and deeply appreciated reading this book, I imagine I’ll probably stick with the ones that use the Greek names for some of the stories.
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My review has been posted to my blog & Goodreads. 

Review has also been tweeted as usual.

Thank you! :c)
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Loved it! I am trying to get more into this stuff and this book has helped me understand mythology a lot more. Very detailed and easy to follow. Really a great book to have on your shelves, I totally recommend it! 

Thanks to Netgalley and Publisher for allowing me to read a copy of Classical Mythology!
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3.5 stars

This is a pretty old fashioned, but interesting collection of classical myth, told via stories, poetry, and art. Each tale is very much a product of its time- those looking for punchy or more accessibly modern versions will need to look elsewhere- but they are still an enjoyable read and include some of the best known Greek and Roman myths. 

The real winner is the inclusion of art. A note at the beginning of the Netgalley version says that the image quality has been reduced, that the plates/pictures are lower quality than in the real book. Here, they're in black and white and are easy enough to see, but I'm not sure if that means they'll be in colour in the retail version. If they are, i'll be upping the stars, because their inclusion is one of the true positives of this book. When looking at myth, the ways in which it has been imagined and reimagined is so important, and that includes various artworks as much as in written forms. In any case, I looked up the pictures online to see the colour versions, but it would have been nicer to have them in the book. 

For me, an individual who studies Classics and myth, this is a really helpful and thought provoking collection that shows ways in which the representation of myths have changed and been variously presented. For those looking for a good general introduction, I think i'd chose something a bit more modern, especially if there are colour prints. 

ARC via Netgalley
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