The Classic Myths in English Literature and in Art

By Charles Mills Gayley | Go to book overview

PREFACE

In this new edition of "The Classic Myths in English Literature" the former order of materials has been altered in accordance with the advice of the teachers who have had longest experience with the use of the book; the old material has been thoroughly revised; and much new material has been added. Since most people prefer to begin a story at its beginning, and not with the career of its author and his genealogy, I have reserved the history of the myths for the conclusion of the text. Some of the myths have been restated in more careful form. Some short narratives, before omitted, have been included. The sketches of the Iliad and the Odyssey have been considerably expanded; and an outline -- which, I hope, will be deemed adequate -- of Wagner's version of the Ring of the Nibelung has been appended to the account of Norse and German mythology. That version is, of course, not English literature; but it has come to be received as the classic modern version of the story; and the story is needed, at some time or other, by every lover of music. Fresh examples of the employment of myth in English verse have, where practicable, been incorporated in the text; and some new references will be found in the Commentary.

I have thoroughly revised the list of illustrative cuts, have interpreted the more difficult of the ancient figures, and indicated the sources. The pictures themselves are a decided improvement upon those in the former edition. In the determination of sources for reproduction, I have had the valuable assistance of Dr. E. von Mach , the author of more than one well-known work on ancient art; and to him I am indebted, in addition, for the section on The Classic Myths in Art, which is included in my Introduction. With this new equipment the book should prove more useful to those who here make their first acquaintance with art, especially the art

-v-

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