Edith Hamilton’s 1942 Book on Greek Mythology — The Perfect Coffee Table Read
Edith Hamilton is a renowned classicist who etched her legacy through Ancient Greek and Roman literature. She was responsible for translating historical texts to make it easy for readers to understand the ideologies of the Western world. 80 years later, Edith Hamilton’s novel Mythology still holds as one of the greatest books on Greek mythology.
Mythology by Edith Hamilton
The stories of Mythology are based on the ancient texts of Greek and Roman writers. Although the ancient writers vary in storytelling, Hamilton writes her stories for the novice reader.
Hamilton spent the latter part of her life publishing work based on ancient literature. In 1942, she released Mythology, which depicts the stories of the Greek gods, goddesses, heroes, titans, and other assorted myths.
You may know some of the iconic Olympic gods like Zeus and Apollo. You may have watched Disney’s Hercules when you were young. All of those characters are based on Greek mythology.
Hamilton takes several versions of ancient texts and breaks them down into digestible journeys. She spares the in-depth details of metered poetry and creates a world you can easily envision.
From the inception of gods to the creation of man, Hamilton retells the mythological stories in a bite-sized fashion. Each story varies from 1 or 2 pages to 20 or more pages — approximately speaking.
Due to the illustrative nature of the 75th-anniversary publication, I consider this book a coffee table read.
You can read this book before work or when you’re waiting for your DoorDash to arrive. The stories are short enough that you can put the book down and finish at another time.
The 75th-anniversary edition, Mythology: The Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes
The 75th-anniversary edition, Mythology: The Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes, embraces the 1940s novel with a new look. The large, hardcover book contains the same stories retold by Edith Hamilton but visually enhanced by Jim Tierney. The chapters display beautiful images from the stories.
Illustrations like Medusa’s shimmering eye and Phaethon’s chariot falling from the sky make for a pleasurable viewing experience. Visitors can simply pick up this book, read a story, and enjoy an illustration.
The myths are told in their original form, so they may not be for the youth. However, if you are a certain age, these stories can be explored in a whole new way.
To cap Hamilton’s legacy, she was deemed an honorary citizen of Athens at 90 years old. Today, Mythology still resonates as one of the best books on Greek mythology.
Buy it on Bookshop.org
You can buy Mythology: The Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes on bookshop.org. 100% of proceeds go to local bookstores with a small percentage to bizcolumnist.com. Support independent bookstores with bookshop.org.