Reviews: ‘Greek Myths’ By Gustav Schwab (Taschen)

This collection of 47 tales from Gustav Schwab’s seminal anthology of Greek myths stages the illustrious exploits of Heracles, Jason, Odysseus, and a host of heroes.

TASCHEN

Through the masterful drawings of Clifford Harper and artworks from the leading figures of the Golden Age of Illustration, including Walter Crane, Arthur Rackham,  and  Virginia Frances Sterrett, the world of Greek mythology is reimagined into life.

The Greek myths are timeless classics, whose scenes and figures have captivated us since ancient times. The gods and heroes of these legends hold up a mirror to the human condition, embodying universal characteristics and truths – whether it be the courage of Perseus, the greed of Midas, the vaulting ambition of Icarus, the vengeance of Medea, or the hubris of Niobe. These traits are the basis for immortal dramas and rich narratives, as profound as they are entertaining, which form the bedrock of our culture and literature today and remain relevant and fascinating for all readers, young and old alike.

Gustav Schwab (1792–1850) was a German author, teacher, and professor. From 1828, Schwab worked at Johann Friedrich Cotta’s eponymous publishing house in Stuttgart, where he was a patron and mentor of young authors. After issuing a collection of his own poetry, he composed the seminal Sagen des klassischen Altertums (Gods and Heroes: Myths and Epics of Ancient Greece, 1838–1840), an indispensable standard work of Greek mythology that has popularized its tales in Germany and across the globe.

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