I’ve always found mythology fascinating and this classic book, published in 1942, is one of my favorite anthologies of the many Greek, Roman, and Norse myths that shaped Western culture.
In this book, you’re introduced to all the major and minor players in Western mythology and their relationships and then to the stories of their famous exploits: Prometheus’ and Epimetheus’ creation of mankind, Cupid’s and Psyche’s love, Jason’s quest for the Golden Fleece, Hercules’ ill-fated adventures, and much, much more.
What I particularly liked about this book is Hamilton’s ability to tell the stories in such a way that they’re educational, easily understood, and downright entertaining. This book doesn’t read like a collection of Wikipedia articles–each story is a character-driven narrative that moves quickly, and Hamilton’s insights into the cultural meanings and lessons of the tales make them especially relatable.
As many other readers have noted, the Norse section of the book is very light compared to the Greek and Roman sections, so if that’s your primary interest, this might not be the book for you.