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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

A Book of Myths

A Book of MythsA Book of Myths by Jeanie Lang
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A classic containing classics, reissued by the Gutenberg project. Originally this work was compiled and retold by Jeanie Lang. In this retelling there are quotes by Shakespeare, Fiona Macleod and others. But this is a retelling. I found the reading to be informative and different from other retellings that i have heard. The range goes from many well known Greek Myths, Norse mythology , Chivalry and some Irish mythology.

THe Greek mythology covers Daedalus and Icarus, several stories on Pan, a couple on Dionysus and maybe a few on Hercules. It was nice to reread them. It is also nice to read the original story. Now a days they are into changing up the stories so much that you might not recognize it from the original.

From the Norse mythos I learned that Freya stole the necklace Brisingaman from Odin's Statue and then Odin asked the dwarves to make a statue to talk so it would reveal the thief. Freya granted some unmentioned favors in order to get them to destroy it. Freya is portrayed as the wife of Odin. I have never learned it that way. I learned that Freya was a daughter of the Vanir. SHe claimed half the slain warriors, but she was not from Asgard. Also I learned that she slept  with the dwarves. Who knows! In the tale of Beowulf which is faithfully retold. We learn of so many plot details that we realize that with cinematic portrayals are just wrong. We also learn about the death of Baldur and Loki is always the trickster eternal.

THE survey on chivalry tells us the story of Roland, the nephew of Chralemagne. Charlgmagne disowned his sister after she married a poor knight. Upon the knights death the family is in dire poverty. Roland gets caught stealing from the kings larder and once his identity is revealed he is admitted to court and given position under Charlegmagne.  He fight loyally against the Saracen who are invading France, but thanks to treachery in the court he is ultimately slain. Not after he puts up a valiant fight.

THe Celtic myths tell about the children of Lir and how a wicked stepmother turns them into swans for about 900 years. they are released from the spell only with the ringing of a Christian Bell. THe other tale tells of how Deirdere a magical woman was reserved for Conchobar the king. instead oiof marrying him she runs off with someone else.  THe end is tragic.

Thanks you Gutenberg for rereleasing this work andd making it available for free. Read this work you cannot go wrong

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One blond hair blue eyed Calfornian who totally digs the Middle East.