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Paperback Tanglewood Tales Book

ISBN: 0804901759

ISBN13: 9780804901758

Tanglewood Tales

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Good

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Book Overview

Hawthorne's first "Wonder Book" was so well received that he was induced to undertake another within eighteen months from the time of finishing the first. To this new volume, made up in the same way of Greek myths retold with a modern, free, half-realistic and half-fanciful tone, he gave the name "Tanglewood Tales." The previous series having been ostensibly narrated by one Eustace Bright, among the hills of Berkshire, these additional stories in...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Tanglewood tales, illus: by Virginia F. Sterrett

Though there are many worthy versions of Tanglewood Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne, none of the others have the magical illustrations of Virginia Sterrett. She died at 31 years of age from Tuberculosis, and only completed illustrations in 3 books, all are hard to find, but worth it if you love art deco/art nouveau. Her art is among the best to be seen.

More Greek myths that "raise the intellect and fancy to the level of childhood"

In 1853 Hawthorne followed up the moderate success of his first collection of children's stories with "Tanglewood Tales for Girls and Boys, Being a Second Wonder Book." Like the first "Wonder Book," this volume gathers six more Greek myths rendered "presentable to children." In the process, the author strips away "everything that is most abhorrent to our Christianized moral sense," not the least of which is anything that might imply that the Greek gods are, well, gods. On the one hand, it's hard to agree with Hawthorne's argument that "the objectionable characteristics seem to be a parasitic growth, having no connection with the original fable." On the other hand, the six bowdlerized stories, like the predecessors still "raise the intellect and fancy to the level of childhood, in order to re-create the original myths." In recasting these tales, then, Hawthorne has made something new and rather glorious out of them. The stories as a group are not as well-known to young readers as those in the earlier volume. You'll find the Minotaur and the labyrinth, as well as Jason and the Golden Fleece. But there are also Hercules and the Pygmies, Cadmus and the famous dragon's teeth (which have inspired as many literary references as they had spawned soldiers), Ulysses and the sorcery of Circe (book 10 of "The Odyssey"), and the abduction (sans rape) of Proserpina by Pluto. Gone are the interludes found in the earlier volume that described a horde of precocious neighborhood children encouraging and teasing their young narrator, Eustace Bright. Instead, Hawthorne presents them as polished manuscripts that had been honed and approved by the children, who are "even more delighted with the contents of the present volume than with the specimens which have already been given to the world." The stories are wondrous, in no small part because they are not as familiar. One drawback, however--as a cursory examination of the six subjects hints--is that each tale carries on a bit about the journeys that lead to the adventure; some children might feel these stories feature less action and more questing. But they are still loads of fun, and great for kids of all ages.

A very interesting book.

This book is about many different famous characters. It tells myths about Theseus, The Pygmies, Antaeus, Hercules, Cadmus, Phoenix, Cilix, Europa, Ulysses, and many more. All of these characters complete many different tasks. I reccomend this book to people of all ages and especially to people that have an interest in mythology.

Great introduction to Greek mythology for children

I am 30-ish. When I was a child, my grandfather who lived overseas sent me "Tanglewood Tales." From the second I opened it, I was enthralled - not just by the stories, but by the fabulous illustrations. I agree wholeheartedly with the 79 year old reviewer who commented on how much good illustrations enhance a good book. But even without drawings, the book is well worth reading. I took that book with me on one of our family's summer holidays and the entire family spent many an evening before bedtime absorbed by the doings of the Gods.

An excellent alternate look at Colonial America (Chair)

(Grandfather's Chair) Hawthorne takes an interesting look at Colonial America by following the history of a chair beginning with the first settlers of America. Used as an elementary grade reader in the mid 1800's, this book is interesting to children as well as adults. Written in the 1800's, the historical stories seem to be less tainted by the passage of time and traditional history. Grandfather tells stories to the children about the owners of the chair as it is passed through the ages from those who first left English pursecusion up to the time of American independance. Some of the stories include John Smith, John Eliot (translator of the Indian Bilble), Pine Tree Shillings (American coinage), French & Indian War, Liberty Tree, Stamp Act, Hutchinson Mob, Boston Tea Part, and Declaration of Independance. Not your traditional approach to Colonial History. I have used this book in a 3rd & 4th grade Social Studies class with great interest from the students as well as the parents. This is a "must read" book.
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