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Reply To: suitable for young people””


What a find, androoshka!

(I hope you don’t mind – I used my admin superpowers to edit your link to open on a new page, so those who follow it don’t have to figure out how to navigate back to COHO; when posting a link in the future, just make sure to click on the “gear” icon on the far right of the field where you post the link, then check the box about opening the link on a new page, before you click submit).

My introduction to mythology – mostly Greek and Roman myths – came in the 1960s via a set of Golden Book encyclopedias, filled with colorful illustrations, which I devoured.

Golden Book Encyclopedias

At the same time I was reading and re-reading every entry in the my Golden Book Encyclopedias, I was also quite taken with this cartoon show, which aired from 1962 – 1966, loosely based on the Greek cycle of myths surrounding Herakles (very loosely – in these cartoons, Hercules seemed an ordinary mortal with ordinary powers until he slipped on a magic ring, a gift from Zeus, that served the same role as spinach in a Popeye cartoon, bestowing extraordinary strength and other powers).

Many people I know credit D’Aulaires Book of Greek Myths with arousing their interest in mythology during childhood.

But the title you’ve linked by Bart George William Cox is the earliest work (1867!) I have seen on comparative mythology designed for children. In addition to the qualified endorsement by Max Müller, one of the early luminaries in the field, it seems relatively comprehensive for the time in which it was published (though it is interesting, like many works on myth, that it only looks at the myths of pagan peoples, apparently viewing Christian stories as society’s default setting – more than myth, if you will).

Granted, the writing style might be beyond that of most children in the targeted age group today (much like the McGuffey Eclectic Readers that dominated primary school education in the 19th and early 20th centuries).

I am curious about the experience of other forum participants – what first drew you to mythology? Was it something you read as a child, or maybe television program or movie that first captured your interest?