If you’re looking for a ‘does everything’ collection of Greek mythology, this is it. Seriously, The Greek Myths is all you need. I’d read tidbits of Greek mythology when I was younger and had a general idea of what was up in Olympus, but I found my knowledge insufficient during my time as a Literature student (and most of it wrong!). No, you don’t have to have a brilliant understanding of Greek mythology if you’re studying Literature, but it sure does help. So, if you’re going to study English Literature at university, get this and thank me later.
The Greek Myths (published by Folio Society) is made up of two volumes. Volume I covers all of the stories from ‘Beginnings’ to ‘Crete and Theseus’ and Volume II covers ‘Thebes’ to ‘Odysseus’. You get both volumes in this collection.
Both volumes have the same covers, and they have maps behind the front and back covers. The maps are detailed and useful guides; I kept returning to them while reading the stories.
The Greek Myths is perfect for anyone interested in Greek mythology, whether you’re a beginner or an expert. You don’t have to be a Literature (or Classics) student to appreciate a collection of well-written awesomeness. What I particularly loved about this collection was that Graves gives you alternative versions of each story. For example, Volume I begins by giving detailed but easy-to-digest accounts of ‘The Homeric and Orphic Creation Myths’, ‘The Olympian Creation Myth’, ‘Two Philosophical Creation Myths’, and ‘The Five Ages of Man’.
Each volume also includes black and white illustrations! The following illustration is from Volume I – ‘Zeus and Metis’.
As there are so many stories and different versions of each story, it’s easy to get lost in Greek mythology. I felt like this collection handled the job exceptionally well; you can read each volume start to finish without getting confused because of how well organised they are. I’d suggest reading each volume this way and then returning to specific sections when/if required. That way, you already have an overall understanding of Greek mythology, and you can just return to reinforce details.
I purchased the collection a while ago and couldn’t find it on the Folio Society website. Unfortunately, the collection is no longer printed by Folio Society. However, you can still find it on Amazon! I found this seller after a quick search, but there are other sellers too (some selling it for less).