Roger Lancelyn Green’s classic retelling of the adventures of the Greek Heroes has been in print for over 60 years. Discover the mysterious and exciting legends of the gods and heroes in Ancient Greece, from the adventures of Perseus, the labours of Heracles, the voyage of Jason and the Argonauts, to Odysseus and the Trojan wars.
Reviewed by Kate Nunn in Slightly Foxed Issue 8.
He educated and entranced me. Each opening is prefaced with a verse and in this way he introduced me toMatthew Arnold, William Morris, A. E. Housman, Swinburne, Rossetti, Marlowe and Shakespeare. These quotations were small offerings left at the gates of every story and they made me fierce with curiosity. He peopled my world, although I couldn’t pronounce the names of any of his characters – for years Aphrodite was ‘A-proff-o-dit’ to me, and that’s how I still like to think of her. At the back of the book is a list of all the gods and goddesses with their names first in Greek, then in Latin. I’ve put a pencil tick next to my favourites: Aproffodit, of course (she gets two ticks and an under-lining), Hera . . . Athena . . . Demeter. I obviously wasn’t too keen on Rhea as she doesn’t get any ticks at all. Looking at the list fills me with old longings, like reading love letters when you know you shouldn’t.
Lancelyn Green didn’t simply retell these classic stories, he conjured them into being: the world he gave me was more real than the one in which I lived. I couldn’t bear to leave the stories behind and I used to make my brother and sister act out the adventures of those gossiping, quarrelling, irresistible gods and goddesses, but we never brought them to life in the way that he did . . .
Extract from Slightly Foxed Issue 8, Winter 2005
Nuffin' Like a Puffin
I was a gluttonous reader, possessive and insatiable. On my desk before me sits a little pile of three-and-sixpenny story books, so freighted with emotion that I can hardly bear to open them. The...Read more