Tanglewood Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne
In the early 1850’s Nathaniel Hawthorne, author of The Scarlet Letter, set himself a challenge to transform the most famous Greek myths – ‘the most singular things in the world’ – so that they would ‘reassume the shapes which they might be supposed to possess in the pure childhood of the world’, and capture young imaginations afresh. Tanglewood Tales was the result of this endeavour: six vivid, intriguing stories, told in simple but pithy language – ‘The Minotaur’, ‘The Pygmies’, The Dragon’s Teeth’, ‘Circle Palace’, ‘The Pomegranate Seeds’, and ‘The Golden Fleece’ – in which we see familiar protagonists such as Theseus and Proserpina growing up through their adventures. There is Hercules confronted by 20,000 pygmy archers whose arrows ‘came whizzing like so many winged mosquitoes’; Cadmus scouring the world for his little lost sister, sowing the dragon’s teeth to see an army sprout from the ground, ‘a multitude of polished brass helmets coming up like a crop of enormous beans’; and Odysseus, outwitting the enchantress Circe, but powerless to prevent his greedy followers from swallowing the bitter pill of self-knowledge and turning into pigs, ‘pawing the air with their fore-trotters’.
- Folio Society First Impression No. 1115
- Publisher Folio Society, London; 2002
- Grey-Green Cloth Hardback, 236 pp
- Illustrations by Edmund Dulac
- Size 250 x 190mm, 1.5kg
Condition: Fine – Superb Unmarked Copy
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