Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von
Faust is the protagonist of a classic German legend; a highly successful scholar, but also dissatisfied with his life, and so makes a deal with the devil, exchanging his soul for unlimited knowledge and worldly pleasures.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Faust is a tragic play in two parts. It is Goethe's most famous work and considered by many to be one of the greatest works of German literature.
This first part of Faust is not divided into acts, but is structured as a sequence of scenes in a variety of settings. After a dedicatory poem and a prelude in the theatre, the actual plot begins with a prologue in Heaven and Scene 1 in Faust's study.
Scott, Walter, Sir
The scene of the following Poem is laid chiefly in the vicinity of Loch Katrine, in the Western Highlands of Perthshire. The time of Action includes Six Days, and the transactions of each Day occupy a Canto.
The play begins years after Oedipus has taken the throne of Thebes. The Theban chorus cries out to him for salvation from the plague sent by the gods in response to Laius's murder. Oedipus searches for the murderer, unaware that he himself is guilty of that crime.
The blind prophet Teiresias is called upon to aid the search, but, after his warning against following through with it, Oedipus oppugns him as the murderer, even though he is blind and aged. In response, an angry Tiresias tells Oedipus that he is looking for himself, causing the king to become enraged in incredulity. He then accuses the prophet of conspiring with Creon, Jocasta's brother, to overthrow him.
Oedipus calls for one of Laius's former servants, the only surviving witness of the murder, who fled the city when Oedipus became king in order to avoid being the one to reveal the truth. Soon a messenger from Corinth arrives to inform the king of the death of Polybus, whom Oedipus still believes to be his real father. At this point, the messenger informs him that he was in fact adopted and that his true parentage is unknown. In the subsequent discussions between Oedipus, Jocasta, the servant and the messenger, the second-mentioned surmises the truth and runs away in shame.
Master storyteller Padraic Colum's rich, musical voice captures all the magic and majesty of the Norse sagas in his retellings of the adventures of the gods and goddesses who lived in the Northern paradise of Asgard before the dawn of history. Here are the matchless tales of All-Father Odin, who crosses the Rainbow Bridge to walk among men in Midgard and sacrifices his right eye to drink from the Well of Wisdom; of Thor, whose mighty hammer defends Asgard; of Loki, whose mischievous cunning leads him to treachery against the gods; of giants, dragons, dwarfs and Valkyries; and of the terrible last battle that destroyed their world.
This book deals mainly with some aspects of what may be termed the psychical life of the inhabitants of the Madras Presidency, and the Native States of Travancore and Cochin.
Mackenzie, Donald Alexander
Donald Alexander Mackenzie (1873 – March 2, 1936) was a Scottish journalist and prolific writer on religion, mythology and anthropology in the early 20th century. His works included Indian Myth and Legend, Celtic Folklore and Myths of China and Japan.
As well as writing books, articles and poems, he often gave lectures, and also broadcast talks on Celtic mythology.
This volume deals with the myths and legends of Babylonia and Assyria, and as these reflect the civilization in which they developed, a historical narrative has been provided, beginning with the early Sumerian Age and concluding with the periods of the Persian and Grecian Empires. Over thirty centuries of human progress are thus passed under review.
Tales of Old Japan by Lord Redesdale is a collection of short stories focusing on Japanese life of the Edo period (1803 - 1868). It contains a number of classic Japanese stories, fairy tales, and other folklore; as well as Japanese sermons and non-fiction pieces on special ceremonies in Japanese life, such as marriage and harakiri, as observed by Lord Redesdale. The best know story of these is "The Forty-seven Ronins" a true account of samurai revenge as it happened at the beginning of 18th century Japan.
Algernon Bertram Freeman-Mitford, 1st Baron Redesdale (1837 - 1916) was a British diplomat, collector and writer. He worked in Japan as second secretary to the British Legation at the time of the Meiji Restoration. He wrote Tales of Old Japan in 1871.
"The Iliad is an epic poem in dactylic hexameters, traditionally attributed to Homer. Set in the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of Ilium, by a coalition of Greek States, it tells of the battles and events during the weeks of a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles. Although the story covers only a few weeks in the final year of the war, the Iliad mentions or alludes to many of the Greek legends about the siege"
One of the earliest recorded histories of Britain; Nennius wrote the book around 796BC. These days Nennius is recognised as being a teller, and embellisher, of historic characters and events; but his book is notable as one of the earliest that mention Arthur (of Arthurian legend).
McSpadden, J. Walker
Robin Hood is a heroic outlaw in English folklore. A highly skilled archer and swordsman, he is known for "robbing from the rich and giving to the poor", assisted by a group of fellow outlaws known as his "Merry Men". Traditionally Robin Hood and his men are depicted wearing Lincoln green clothes. The origin of the legend is claimed by some to have stemmed from actual outlaws, or from ballads or tales of outlaws.
This is an incomplete dialogue from the late period of Plato's life. Plato most likely created it after Republic and it contains the famous story of Atlantis, that Plato tells with such skill that many have believed the story to be true. Critias, a friend of Socrates, and uncle of Plato was infamous as one of the bloody thirty tyrants.
The King of Ireland's Son is a children's novel published in Ireland in 1916 written by Padraic Colum, and illustrated by Willy Pogany. It is the story of the eldest of the King of Ireland's sons, and his adventures winning and then finding Fedelma, the Enchanter's Daughter, who after being won is kidnapped from him by the King of the Land of Mist. It is solidly based in Irish folklore, itself being originally a folktale.
Fourteen Old Indian Legends by Native American ( Dakota ) Author Zitkala-sa. These Legends feature the exploits of Iktomi the Native American Trickster god.
Petrie, W. M. Flinders
Brief, and in some cases incomplete, stories of magic from ancient Egypt.
Kelley, Ruth Edna
This book is intended to give the reader an account of the origin and history of Hallowe'en, how it absorbed some customs belonging to other days in the year,—such as May Day, Midsummer, and Christmas. The context is illustrated by selections from ancient and modern poetry and prose, related to Hallowe'en ideas.
Thayer, Ernest Lawrence
Volunteers bring you 12 recordings of Casey at the Bat by Ernst Lawrence Thayer. This was the Fortnightly Poetry project for December 16, 2012.
Ernst Thayer was an American writer and poet who wrote "Casey at the Bat", the "single most famous baseball poem ever written" according to the Baseball Almanac.
Andrew Lang's Fairy Books or Andrew Lang's "Coloured" Fairy Books are a twelve-book series of fairy tale collections. Although Andrew Lang did not collect the stories himself from the oral tradition, the extent of his sources (who had collected them originally), made them an immensely influential collection, especially as he used foreign-language sources, giving many of these tales their first appearance in English. As acknowledged in the prefaces, although Lang himself made most of the selections, his wife and other translators did a large portion of the translating and telling of the actual stories. Many of them were illustrated by Henry J. Ford. Lancelot Speed also did some illustrations.
This is Irish folklorist Padraic Colum's masterful retelling of many Greek myths, focusing on Jason and the Argonauts' quest to find the Golden Fleece. He also includes the stories of Atalanta, Heracles, Perseus, Theseus, and others.
Lewis, Charlton Miner
Published in 1903, Gawayne and the Green Knight is a modern-language retelling of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, a 14th-century verse romance following a young knight of the Round Table. During Christmas celebrations, a mysterious, entirely green knight presents a challenge to King Arthur's court: that any may strike the stranger a single blow with his green axe, provided he assent to receiving the same a year later. Gawayne accepts the challenge, and its unexpected outcome leads to a great test of his courage and knighthood. A significant addition to this version is the Lady Elfinhart, whose back-story and romance with Gawayne are tightly interwoven with the plot.
Whittier, John Greenleaf
Volunteers bring you 11 recordings of The Frost Spirit by John Greenleaf Whittier. This was the Fortnightly Poetry project for October 28, 2012.
John Greenleaf Whittier was an influential American Quaker poet. He is considered one of the Fireside Poets and was influenced by Roberet Burns.
The Ghost Breaker is a drama and haunted house horror complete with heroes, villains, and a Princess. The Ghost Breaker was originally a screenplay and would later be made a drama film directed by Cecil B. DeMille.
Two young people, the epitome of young masculine and feminine beauty, fall in love at first sight, but their union is forbidden by the tyranny of their guardians and of geography itself, for they live on opposite sides of the Hellespont. To enjoy one night of love, Leander dares to swim this formidable strait, unluckily meeting the god Neptune along the way. Unaware of the resentment he has aroused by rejecting the advances of this old queen of the sea, the lad gains the shore and, once past the shock of appearing naked on his lover's doorstep, finds his way into her bed. There the young couple, although ignorant of the facts of life (Hero is a "nun" in the temple of Venus!), discover "all that elder lovers know" by (awkward) trial and (hilarious) error. The unfinished poem ends with one lover having fallen out of bed, the long return journey across the Hellespont still to come and an angry Neptune lying in wait. Although George Chapman continued the poem after Marlowe's death, this reading is of Marlowe's original only.
Fouqué, Friedrich de la Motte
Friedrich de la Motte Fouque, also the author of Undine, was a German Romantic writer whose stories were filled with knights, damsels in distress, evil enchantments, and the struggle of good against overpowering evil. 'My strength is as the strength of ten, Because my heart is pure.' Fouque blends the Romantic love for nature and ancient chivalry while telling a powerful story about a young man who yearns for that which he can never attain.
Jacob Abbott wrote many historical books for children. He was careful to ensure historical accuracy, and as he said himself in the preface to this book "Whatever of interest ... these stories may possess is due solely to the facts themselves which are recorded in them, and to their being brought together in a plain, simple, and connected narrative."
This is the story of Romulus, the founding of Rome and the early years of its history, written in a way both readable and enjoyable for adults and children alike.
Dyer, T. F. Thiselton
“Among other qualities which have been supposed to belong to a dead man’s hand, are its medicinal virtues, in connection with which may be mentioned the famous ‘dead hand,’ which was, in years past, kept at Bryn Hall, Lancashire… Thus the case is related of a woman who, attacked with the smallpox, had this dead hand in bed with her every night for six weeks, and of a poor lad living near Manchester who was touched with it for the cure of scrofulous sores.” Though not all chapters have such gruesome subjects as The Dead Hand, all are full of a curious mixture of superstition and local history that will delight and amuse the modern listener.
In 1623, Francis Bacon expressed his aspirations and ideas in New Atlantis. Released in 1627, this was his creation of an ideal land where people were kind, knowledgeable, and civic-minded. Part of this new land was his perfect college, a vision for our modern research universities. Islands he had visited may have served as models for his ideas.
Euripides' tragedy focuses on the disintegration of the relationship between Jason, the hero who captured the Golden Fleece, and Medea, the sorceress who returned with him to Corinth and had two sons with him. As the play opens, Jason plans to marry the daughter of King Creon, and the lovesick Medea plots how to take her revenge.
Howard, Robert E.
Conan the Cimmerian pursues the beautiful and deadly pirate Valeria after she kills a Stygian only to find himself cornered by a dragon. Apparently this dragon doesn’t know who he’s messing with. The pair then encounters the city of Xuchotl with its warring factions and ancient secrets. Swordplay and sorcery ensue. – Red Nails is Howard’s final Conan story and was published in the July, August, September and October 1936 issues of Weird Tales magazine
Troyes, Chrétien de
Yvain, the Knight of the Lion is a romance by Chrétien de Troyes. It was probably written in the 1170s simultaneously with Lancelot, the Knight of the Cart, and includes several references to the action in that poem. In the poem, Yvain seeks to avenge his cousin Calogrenant who had been defeated by an otherworldly knight beside a magical storm-making fountain in the forest of Broceliande.
Asbjørnsen, Peter Christen
Once on a time there was a poor husbandman who had so many children that he hadn’t much of either food or clothing to give them. Pretty children they all were, but the prettiest was the youngest daughter, who was so lovely there was no end to her loveliness.
So one day, ’twas on a Thursday evening late at the fall of the year, the weather was so wild and rough outside, and it was so cruelly dark, and rain fell and wind blew, till the walls of the cottage shook again. There they all sat round the fire, busy with this thing and that. But just then, all at once something gave three taps on the window-pane. Then the father went out to see what was the matter; and, when he got out of doors, what should he see but a great big White Bear.
“Good-evening to you!” said the White Bear.
“The same to you!” said the man.
“Will you give me your youngest daughter? If you will, I’ll make you as rich as you are now poor,” said the Bear. (from the book)
This collection of old Scandinavian fairy tales will enchant you with stories of trolls, enchanted castles, princesses and a White Bear
A retelling of old Greek stories involving mythological heroes and their adventures. Tales include those of Prometheus, Io, Perseus and Theseus.
The Life of Gargantua and of Pantagruel (in French, La vie de Gargantua et de Pantagruel) is a connected series of five novels written in the 16th century by François Rabelais. It is the story of two giants, a father (Gargantua) and his son (Pantagruel) and their adventures, written in an amusing, extravagant, satirical vein. There is much crudity and scatological humor as well as a large amount of violence. Long lists of vulgar insults fill several chapters.
All mythology and/or Hawthorne lovers unite!
Here is a delightful collection of charming stories from Greek Mythology. This collection features some very popular characters like our beloved Jason, Ulysses, King Pluto and Theseus (and of course, our favorite, Mr. Minotaur, too). Written in Hawthorne's interesting and beautiful style, these stories will be a great delight to read AND listen to.
The Lair of the White Worm (also known as The Garden of Evil) is a horror novel by Irish author Bram Stoker, who also wrote Dracula. It is partly based on the legend of the Lambton Worm. The book was published in 1911, the year before Stoker's death, with color illustrations by Pamela Colman Smith. In 1988, it was adapted into a film by Ken Russell.
This excellent book contains many great stories from the various mythologies of man throughout the ages.
William Morris (1834-1896) was a writer, illustrator and medievalist from the Romantic period and associated with other renowned authors of the time such as Dante Rossetti. His fascination with ancient Germanic and Norse people dominated his writings, the first to be set in an entirely invented fantasy world and which helped to establish the fantasy genre.
The House of Wolfings (1890), some argue, is a demonstration of Morris' socialism as the society described, though not an utopia, is clan-based, elects leaders and makes decisions in clan tribal meetings. Notwithstanding, it tells the story of how Thiodolf and his clan - the Wolfings - fight and vanquish the Roman invaders. The book is built with Morris' knowledge of the historical period and his own idealistic views, which allow him to combine facts and mythical elements. Thiodolf is protected by a dwarfish coat of mail, given to him by his lover Wood Sun, herself one of the Vala, the immortals. But things are not what they seem and what is meant to protect him, is also a curse...
Radford, Maude L.
A collection of King Arthur's adventures, from his ascent to King of Britain to his death. This book includes some of the crucial Arthurian legends about Sir Lancelot, the Knights of the Round Table, Queen Guinevere, and the search for the Holy Grail.
This is a book of myths told by the Indians of North America to their children. They could be compared to present day Fairy Tales.
A collection of folk and fairy tales from the Emerald Isle. There is an earlier version of this book - Celtic Fairy Tales, but this recording was done from a different book in Project Gutenberg. Same book, new readers!
Brinton, Daniel G.
The Myths of the New World's full title describes it as.. " a treatise on the Symbolism and Mythology of the Red Race of America", an attempt to analyse and correlate scientifically, the mythology of the American Indians. Note: Brinton advocated theories of scientific racism that were pervasive at that time.
"The Icelanders, in their long winter, had a great habit of writing; and were, and still are, excellent in penmanship. It is to this fact, that any little history there is of the Norse Kings and their old tragedies, crimes and heroisms, is almost all due. The Icelanders, it seems, not only made beautiful letters on their paper or parchment, but were laudably observant and desirous of accuracy; and have left us such a collection of narratives (Sagas, literally "Says") as, for quantity and quality, is unexampled among rude nations. Snorro Sturleson's History of the Norse Kings is built out of these old Sagas; and has in it a great deal of poetic fire,. . . and deserves to be reckoned among the great history-books of the world. It is from these sources that the following rough notes of the early Norway Kings are hastily thrown together." (Excerpted from Thomas Carlyle's preface by Karen Merline)
Donnelly, Ignatius Loyola
"Atlantis: The Antediluvian World is a book published during 1882 by Minnesota populist politician Ignatius L. Donnelly, who was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania during 1831. Donnelly considered Plato's account of Atlantis as largely factual and attempted to establish that all known ancient civilizations were descended from this supposed lost land. Many of its theories are the source of many modern-day concepts we have about Atlantis, like the civilization and technology beyond its time, the origins of all present races and civilizations, a civil war between good and evil, etc."
Also known as "The Children's Homer," this is Irish writer Padraic Colum's retelling of the events of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey for young people. Colum's rich, evocative prose narrates the travails of Odysseus, King of Ithaca: his experiences fighting the Trojan War, and his ten years' journey home to his faithful wife Penelope and his son Telemachus.
Cutler, U. Waldo
Stories of King Arthur and His Knights
Retold from Malory's "Morte dArthur"
Bulfinch (July 15, 1796 - May 27, 1867) explains the his work is "an attempt tell the stories of mythology in such a manner as to make them a source of amusement. We have endeavored to tell them correctly, according to the ancient authorities, so that when the reader finds them referred to he may not be at a loss to recognize the reference. Thus we hope to teach mythology not as a study, but as a relaxation from study; to give our work the charm of a story-book, yet by means of it to impart a knowledge of an important branch of education."
The Bulfinch version of myth presents the myths in their literary versions, without unnecessary violence, sex, psychology or ethnographic information. The Bulfinch myths are an indispensable guide to the cultural values of the American 19th century.
Wodehouse, P. G.
This is the classic story of William Tell - Swiss patriot and great apple-shooter - as seen through the eyes of English humorist P.G. Wodehouse.
No Swiss were (permanently) injured in the telling of this story; however, results differed for Austrian tyrants.
The original volume also included a humorous poem encapsulating the whole Tell legend, written by John W. Houghton to accompany the sixteen color illustrations. For this audiobook, the stanzas have been collected and read as a single poem.
Grinnell, George Bird
The Blackfeet were hunters, travelling from place to place on foot. They used implements of stone, wood, or bone, wore clothing made of skins, and lived in tents covered by hides. Dogs, their only tame animals, were used as beasts of burden to carry small packs and drag light loads.
The stories here told come down to us from very ancient times. Grandfathers have told them to their grandchildren, and these again to their grandchildren, and so from mouth to mouth, through many generations, they have reached our time.
"Being a collection of some of the OLD TALES told in those Western Parts of Britain served by the GREAT WESTERN RAILWAY, now retold by LYONESSE"
Bateman, George W.
If you have read any accounts of adventure in Africa, you will know that travelers never mention animals of any kind that are gifted with the faculty of speech, or gazelles that are overseers for native princes, or hares that eat flesh. No, indeed; only the native-born know of these; and, judging by the immense and rapid strides civilization is making in those parts, it will not be long before such wonderful specimens of zoölogy will be as extinct as the ichthyosaurus, dinornis, and other poor creatures who never dreamed of the awful names that would be applied to them when they were too long dead to show their resentment. As to the truth of these tales, I can only say that they were told to me, in Zanzibar, by negroes whose ancestors told them to them, who had received them from their ancestors, and so back; so that the praise for their accuracy, or the blame for their falsity, lies with the first ancestor who set them going. You may think uncivilized negroes are pretty ignorant people, but the white man who is supposed to have first told the story of “The House that Jack Built” was a mighty poor genius compared with the unknown originator of “Goso, the Teacher,” who found even inanimate things that were endowed with speech, which the pupils readily understood and were not astonished to hear; while “Puss in Boots” was not one-half so clever as the gazelle that ran things for Haamdaanee. It would be a severe task to rattle off “Goso” as you do “The House that Jack Built.”
This group project is a collection of 43 fairy tales (both old and new), folk lore, myths and real life stories by a variety of authors, brought together by writer Fanny E Coe. They are mostly short and are fun to read and tell to children and most teach valuable lessons about life.