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?