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Pandora's Jar: Women in the Greek Myths

$34.99

$34.99

Natalie Haynes is the nation's muse' Adam Rutherford

The Greek myths are among the world's most important cultural building blocks and they have been retold many times, but rarely do they focus on the remarkable women at the heart of these ancient stories.

Stories of gods and monsters are the mainstay of epic poetry and Greek tragedy, from Homer to Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides, from the Trojan War to Jason and the Argonauts. And still, today, a wealth of novels, plays and films draw their inspiration from stories first told almost three thousand years ago. But modern tellers of Greek myth have usually been men, and have routinely shown little interest in telling women’s stories. And when they do, those women are often painted as monstrous, vengeful or just plain evil. But Pandora – the first woman, who according to legend unloosed chaos upon the world – was not a villain, and even Medea and Phaedra have more nuanced stories than generations of retellings might indicate.

Now, in Pandora’s Jar, Natalie Haynes – broadcaster, writer and passionate classicist – redresses this imbalance. Taking Pandora and her jar (the box came later) as the starting point, she puts the women of the Greek myths on equal footing with the menfolk. After millennia of stories telling of gods and men, be they Zeus or Agamemnon, Paris or Odysseus, Oedipus or Jason, the voices that sing from these pages are those of Hera, Athena and Artemis, and of Clytemnestra, Jocasta, Eurydice and Penelope.

Book Information

  • ISBN: 9781509873128
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pub Date: 29/09/2020
  • Category: Ancient Greece
    Humanities / Ancient Greek religion & mythology
    Humanities / Classical history / classical civilisation
    Literature & literary studies / Classical texts
  • Imprint: Picador
  • Pages: 320
  • Price: $34.99

Natalie Haynes is the nation's muse' Adam Rutherford

The Greek myths are among the world's most important cultural building blocks and they have been retold many times, but rarely do they focus on the remarkable women at the heart of these ancient stories.

Stories of gods and monsters are the mainstay of epic poetry and Greek tragedy, from Homer to Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides, from the Trojan War to Jason and the Argonauts. And still, today, a wealth of novels, plays and films draw their inspiration from stories first told almost three thousand years ago. But modern tellers of Greek myth have usually been men, and have routinely shown little interest in telling women’s stories. And when they do, those women are often painted as monstrous, vengeful or just plain evil. But Pandora – the first woman, who according to legend unloosed chaos upon the world – was not a villain, and even Medea and Phaedra have more nuanced stories than generations of retellings might indicate.

Now, in Pandora’s Jar, Natalie Haynes – broadcaster, writer and passionate classicist – redresses this imbalance. Taking Pandora and her jar (the box came later) as the starting point, she puts the women of the Greek myths on equal footing with the menfolk. After millennia of stories telling of gods and men, be they Zeus or Agamemnon, Paris or Odysseus, Oedipus or Jason, the voices that sing from these pages are those of Hera, Athena and Artemis, and of Clytemnestra, Jocasta, Eurydice and Penelope.

Author Information

Natalie Haynes is a writer and broadcaster. She writes for the Guardian and the Independent. She was a judge for the 2012 Orange Prize for Fiction, the 2013 Man Booker Prize, and the 2014 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. Natalie is the author of three novels: The Amber Fury, The Children of Jocasta and A Thousand Ships as well as two non-fiction books: The Ancient Guide to Modern Life and Pandora's Jar. She has spoken on the modern relevance of the classical world on three continents, from Cambridge to Chicago to Auckland. She is a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4: reviewing for Front Row and Saturday Review, appearing as a team captain on three seasons of Wordaholics, as well as writing and presenting her own show Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics.