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Natalie Haynes

Pandora's Jar

Pandora's Jar

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'Funny; sharp explications of what these sometimes not-very-nice women were up to; and how they sometimes made idiots of . . . but read on!' – Margaret Atwood 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: Women in the Greek Myths; 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.

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Literature & Fiction

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