Book Releases and Bulfinch’s Mythology

I’ll be pushing back the release date of Ride of the Valkyja until sometime around the end of this year or the beginning of next. As for Loving the Goddess of Love, it’s on hold until I clear up a few things. Today I got an email berating me for not stick close the mythology of Hades and Persephone as it was taught in School or in Bulfinch’s mythology. Supposedly that was such a great myth and I ruined it by writing My Lord Hades and naming the characters after Hades and Persephone. I guess that she thought that I should have either renamed the book and all the characters or followed the myths to the letter.

I received a similar rebuke from a Wiccan at the beginning of the year when I shared the premise of the novel online. She didn’t like my depiction of Demeter as an overbearing mother or that Persephone might not want to return to her mother. She had a friend join her in telling me how wrong I was and that I should do my research. So I thought I would prove that I did my research and start by addressing Bulfinch’s mythology.

Thomas Bulfinch wrote a collection of works starting in 1855, it was titled the Age of Fables and later renamed after him in 1881 (I own a copy of the book). His work removed unnecessary violence, sex, psychology, or ethnographic information. He relied heavily upon the works of Ovid and Virgil, and created his stories to entertain the more genteel readers and not as a study of the mythology.

As for what is taught in school, it’s a mix of Bulfinch’s Mythology and Edith Hamiliton’s Mythology: Timeless and Tales of Gods and Heroes (I own a copy of this book too) that was published in 1942 and drew upon several Greek and Roman poets. The book is about 300 pages long and only touches upon each mythology as well as some from Norse Mythology.

The myths in these too works have very little to say about Persephone, Hades, or the Underworld. They mostly focus on Demeter and what she did at that time, but they don’t tell the whole story either. Actually if you read through the Hymns to Demeter (http://www.theoi.com/Olympios/Demeter.html#Hymns) and the myths of Demeter (http://www.theoi.com/Olympios/DemeterMyths.html plus more pages) there is a lot missing from the mythology that happened at the time. I plan on addressing this later in a book about Demeter.

So let me tell you a secret. Coronus and Rhea are brother and sister who had several children; Hades, Zeus, and Demeter among them. Anyone see any problems so far with this story? Yes? No? How about the fact that Hades is the brother of Zeus, and Uncle to Zeus’ daughter Persephone, or that Demeter is also Hades sister and Persephone’s mother? I don’t think they have an Incestuous Romance genre yet? And if they did, I don’t think I would want to be part of that romance line. But it doesn’t end there, before Persephone was taken by Hades she was hidden by Demeter to save her from the lustful gazes of all her relations that desired her but she was still seduced by Zeus in the form of a drakon. Later in the myths she bears Zeus a few children. So for a brief recap: The myth is full of incest of brothers and sisters, daughter and uncle, and father and daughter. Is it any wonder that I changed the lineage of some of the characters?

10 thoughts on “Book Releases and Bulfinch’s Mythology

  1. 🙂 We all know we can’t please everyone. One of the things which intrigued me was how My Lord Hades differed from the traditional mythology.Yes, I had thoughts “Hey, that’s not what the mythology said.” I also spent time researching the differences as I read. Yeah… I get anal at times. But My Lord Hades kept me on my toes, because I didn’t know what was next. I enjoyed that.

    Shrug it off and push on. If the reader didn’t like it, then I guess the book wasn’t for her. Thanks for trying my novel Ms. Reader. Perhaps you’ll enjoy my next work. XOXOX and God Bless. 🙂

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    • I know. I’m just getting tired of this “You didn’t write it according to Bulfinch or how I learned it in school,” or the “you didn’t do your research” complaints. It’s probably my own fault since I didn’t mention any of my research as I deviated from the path. I notice a lot of authors mention something as they write, dropping breadcrumbs along the way. I wasn’t sure if this book would make it anymore that the others didn’t, so I didn’t say much more than I was writing a Hades and Persephone myth.

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  2. So how did you handle the email?

    It always amazes me that people don’t get a that it’s FICTION! The myths didn’t really happen. They are FICTION which means the myths are open to interpretation and can change at whim. It amazes me that people can get their panties all bunched up into a knot over a freakin’ story.

    You know, Amazon is banning incest right now, so if you did an incest romance line, it would be banned. I think the whole incest thing is sick. I’ve come across too many women who’ve been sexually abused by an older male relative, so there’s nothing ‘romantic’ about the setup, and going by the classical version of events, it’s worse than a soap opera where everyone is sleeping with everyone else, which is another antithesis of what romance really is (imo).

    Sorry for rambling. It just really pisses me off when people can’t see that a book is a book and that’s it. Gee whiz. Get a life, people!

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    • Told her that I was sorry that she didn’t like it and that if she wanted to subscribe to my blog I would go about explaining what myths I chose to include and the reasons I deviated from the most accepted myths that we all learned about in school. No one has yet to subscribe so I don’t know if she will or not. LOL But this series of post will be placed on a page under Inside the Author’s Workshop (a FAQ’s page for each book) and when people ask why I did what I did or where I go my information I can point them in that direction. 😀

      I’m not into the who incest writing thing, but to each his own. And I didn’t want my books to read like a Soap Opera which is what I think some of the Greek and Roman myths turn into.

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  3. Amazing what people will do when they don’t agree with what a writer writes.
    My very first post ever as a blogger was to post an article I had written for a magazine about baby sleep patterns. My very first comment was from someone complaining that I did not address co-sleeping and how unhappy he was. If I don’t like something I certainly don’t go bother an author about it.
    And I agree with above comment that fiction is fiction.

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    • I’m always surprised at the number of people writing authors to tell them just what they don’t like about something. I’m like you, if I didn’t like a something they wrote I don’t bother the author about it.

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  4. Phhhhfffffttttt.

    That’s my answer to them. The point of writing is not to write the same old thing that someone else already wrote. Why write that story over again? if they want to read that one, then go check out that book.

    But then, you know my opinion on it, already 😉

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    • Agreed! I just don’t get why I keep gettting people telling me that I should have stuck with the orginal myth they learned in school. First, there is not a lot of info about Hades or Persephone. Second, there relationship is basically non-existent. Third, eewww factor, they were related!

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