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Mythology by Lady Hestia Evans


by Lady Hestia Evans, Dugald A. Steer (Editor)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Ologies (5), Mythology - Ologies (1)

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298537,648 (4.36)2



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Showing 5 of 5
Mythology was a title I expected to see almost as soon as I realized that Dragonology and Egyptology were the start of a series, and not merely one-off titles. Mythology, a 19th century textbook written by Lady Hestia Evans, introduces readers to the Greek and Roman myths of gods and heroes. The textbook was designed so that enterprising students could take many notes in the page margins, and one reader, named John Oro, did just that. As the pages catalog the deities, monsters, and heroes of the ancient world, a secondary story is told in the margins, as John Oro journals his expedition through Greece on a quest for treasure while using the textbook as his guide. But Oro discovers more than merely vases and ancient coins as he visits the old temples of the gods...

This is a great introduction to the myths. There are many illustrations, ranging from simple pen sketches to lush watercolors and reproductions of original Greek and Roman works of art. Each page spread introduces something new, like the origins of the Titans and Olympians, or the powers and personalities of the major gods and goddesses. Some tales have been sanitized for a younger audience. For example, the paragraph about Zeus closes with these words: “Although most myths say that Zeus was the husband of Hera, he also had other marriages...Although Zeus always married Hera again afterwards, she usually had some reason to be angry with her husband.” Certainly, Zeus had many affairs with many women, but I'm quite sure Hera was his only wife. But as this is a book written in 1825 for a young audience, a proper woman like Lady Hestia no doubt felt the need to fudge the old tales a bit.

The fictional Lady Hestia Evans is no doubt meant to be a descendent or relation of real-life archaeologists John and Arthur Evans. Sir John was a trustee of the British Museum while his son Arthur excavated at Knossos and “discovered” Minoan civilization. It's a cute wink to the readers, as is the name John Oro – those familiar with mythology may well guess the man's fate before it is revealed at the end of the book based on the clue in his surname.

Like all Ologies books, there are many interactive panels and mini-booklets scattered throughout the book. In one pocket there are paper “oracle leaves” for communication with the gods, while in the other “knowledge cards” help readers test each other with trivia about the Olympian gods. A specimen of “golden fleece” is found on a page that discusses the mythological beasts like sphinxes and dragons. There's even a highly condensed version of The Odyssey to introduce children to the adventures of Odysseus.

I found it a little strange that Lord Byron is mentioned several times in the book's margins and in some of the extra notes. Sure, he's an interesting historical figure, but nothing really ties him to the main body of the text on mythology, or even to John Oro's side adventure save that Byron's death in Greece was fairly recent at the time of Oro's travels. But overall this was a minor distraction from another fine addition to the Ologies line. ( )
  makaiju | Dec 16, 2013 |
Such an interesting book. This would be something I used as a supplemental to the curriculum. The pages are neatly identified and provides a lot of cool interactives. ( )
  beckylynn | Apr 1, 2009 |
Part of the popular 'ologies' series, this comprehensive book tells an annotated history and compares the Greek and Roman traditions. Features some smaller versions of traditional myths.

Children's mythology book.

I thought this fine. It's a great introduction and gives a real personality view of many classic Greek heroes and Gods, but as far as story telling goes it's not the strongest.

The layout is great for younger readers, especially in this personality cataloging era of Pokemon. The stories are here and are relatively complete, but not as enriching and fluid as they could be. Good way to get kids interested, but with mythology it's not too hard. ( )
  dylantanner | Dec 7, 2008 |
The book is quite interactive, offering pop-ups, hidden treasures, and other little charms for the young adult to explore. It offers accurate descriptions, pictures, and statues of a handful of Greek Gods and mythical figures. Beautifully drawn, I found myself captivated by a luster that Zeus himself would be proud of. For the child, learning about Greek mythology would have never been made as easy or as fun as the depictions in this book. The pictures of statues are from the period in which these Gods were prevalent. At the very end of the book, there is a quill feather hidden in an envelope. Excellently conceived, this book would make use as a great aid for teaching, or playful enough to be a gift. ( )
  cbruiz | Dec 7, 2008 |
Though this book is simply titled "Mythology," it actually pertains strictly to Greek Mythology. There's a bit of a fiction involved, as it's actually supposed to be the notes and artifacts left behind by a traveller and collector from the 1820s who travelled to Greece on business, but got on the wrong side of the gods. Includes an introduction, genealogical table of some of the Greek gods and monsters, maps, origin of humans story, popular myths associated with the more popular gods. Contains lots of realia in the form of books within the book, photographs, and specimens.
  kateweber | Dec 31, 1969 |
Showing 5 of 5
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lady Hestia Evansprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Steer, Dugald A.Editormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Harris, NickIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Palin, NickiIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ta, NghiemDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ward, HelenIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wyatt, DavidIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0763634034, Hardcover)

Presenting the newest discovery in the series with the Midas touch — a mythical exploration fit for the gods

In the early nineteenth century, an English nobleman embarked on a tour of the sites of ancient Greece. He brought as his guide a primer on Greek myths written by his friend Lady Hestia Evans, a devotee of Lord Byron who had recently taken the same voyage. In the true Romantic spirit, Lady Hestia’s book was not only lavishly illustrated but also boasted many paper crafts and novelties, including a card game featuring the twelve Olympians, an oak-leaf oracle of Zeus, a pop-up Pandora’s box (with hope still inside), a booklet retelling the tale of Odysseus, a piece of the Golden Fleece, a gold OBOLOS coin to pay the ferryman on the River Styx, and many more flaps, foldouts, and other surprises. The nobleman added his own witty comments and drawings along the way, but seems to have wished for something odd at the Delphic oracle: as the book nears its end, it slowly begins to turn . . .to gold. Now, for lovers of Greek myths and those just discovering their timeless power, this fascinating volume is faithfully reproduced with all its Romantic ambience, clever wit and novelty features intact.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:50 -0400)

A heavily illustrated notebook filled with newspaper clippings, letters, and text, compiled by "Lady Hestia Evans" in "1825."

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Candlewick Press

An edition of this book was published by Candlewick Press.

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