on January 20, 2003
This new edition of the classic Bulfinch's Mythology is excellent. It has retained all of Bulfinch's old texts and introductions to myths and their histories, but it has also added some new introductory material. This material, much having to do with Bulfinch's own life and education helps to bring light into the context for which Bulfinch was writing. For example, did you know that Bulfinch originally began writing mythology pieces for magazine entertainment? There is also much information in the new introductions about Bulfinch's education and the place that he held (or rather, didn't hold) within Boston's then extremely rigid social strata. The editor also provides an interesting look at why Bulfinch told the myths in the way he did and compares the sources that Bulfinch used to those of his contemporaries (Hawthorne, for example). It really is very interesting reading.
Of course, this edition of Bulfinch's mythology still contains all of the wonderful myths that our society has come to know through this book, along with Bulfinch's original introductions to each chapter.
The book is large and heavy, therefore not a great traveling companion. Still, it more than makes up for it with content. If you keep this book out on your shelf and read a small bit of myth every day, you will never be bored or lack for reading material again.
on March 23, 2000
Bulfinch's Mythology is, simply put, the best. I cannot think of another book I simply enjoyed reading more. It deals with classical myth, the tales of Charlemagne and Arthur, some Celtic myths... it is an invaluable companion to someone who is studying cultural history, or just as an eminently readable book. It serves as an admirable companion to Frazer's "The Golden Bough", giving some context to much of his writing.
on May 24, 2009
This is a reference work that belongs in every home, especially if you have kids. The width & breadth of stories contained here will astound even those who think they are well-versed in mythology. Everything from the Greek & Roman gods to King Arthur is included in this book, along w/lesser known stories that are just as interesting in their own right. While it may be too sophisticated for elementary readers, it is just right for 11-13 y.o. kids to jump into to supplement their Harry Potter or Star Wars passions. Even curious adults will find something they didn't know before. Makes a great gift for all ages!!
on August 25, 2003
This book does cover the well-known myths of several different cultures, and it does well on that, but no book can cover every myth of every time period, and in the end I suppose that's what everyone wants.
For the most part if you're looking for Greek or Celtic myths this is a book you have to have, any other society's myths and you'd probably be better off with a different, more concentrated book, not something with such a wide-spread focus.
Overall a wonderful book, completely worth it's cost.