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Pandora's Jar
Pandora's Jar: Women in the Greek Myths | Natalie Haynes
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 womens 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 Pandoras 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.
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emmaturi
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I really enjoyed learning more about some of the women in Greek mythology and some women I didn't really know hardly anything about. I love her books and need to read her backlist.

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RamsFan1963
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96/150 If you love Greek Mythology, as I do, then I highly recommend this book to you. Haynes takes the classic females from Greek Mythology (Medusa, Helen, Medea, etc) and shows how different ancient writers told their stories. Sometimes they were the villains, sometimes the victims, sometimes even the heroines. One of my favorite reads for 2022. 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

tokorowilliamwallace Cozy mystery writer, Kerry Greenwood has a Greek goddess mythology series, and one of the volumes is all about Medea. 4w
RamsFan1963 @tokorowilliamwallace Sounds interesting, I'll have to check it out. Thanks. 4w
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PuSsNbOoKs
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Just buy it and learn things that will blow your mind!

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Hooked_on_books
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In Pandora‘s Jar, Haynes examines our understanding of women in Greek mythology and how in reality these women have been marginalized and made less important to the stories over time. It is deeply researched and completely fascinating. I may need to go back to this someday (which is unusual for me) to pick some of the details up. Two very enthusiastic thumbs up!

Itchyfeetreader Loved this book! 1mo
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emmaturi
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I have been reading this all month, it's so fascinating hearing about different women in Greek mythology and how their lives turned out.

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rabbitprincess
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Loved this. Now I‘m going to have to read more Euripides. I‘ve also been listening to the Hadestown soundtrack because Haynes mentions it in her chapter on Eurydice.

Tamra My hold just came in today! 👏🏾 2mo
rabbitprincess @Tamra Yay! Enjoy 😊 2mo
tokorowilliamwallace Yes! Euripides over Sophocles. 1mo
rabbitprincess @tokorowilliamwallace I read Medea for a class in university and probably still have the book somewhere! 1mo
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mdemanatee
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Started this audiobook while making dinner and loving it so far.

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KarenUK
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Smart, feminist, witty and accessible….I loved this exploration of the Women of the Greek myths. Each chapter focuses on a key female character from mythology (eg. Helen, Medusa, Jocasta), and discusses her portrayal through the ages, misrepresentation and misogyny, referencing not only the classic Greek texts, but modern interpretations, fine art and pop culture. So informative and fascinating, I couldn‘t put this down.

Cinfhen ♥️🙌🏻 3mo
BarbaraBB Great! I enjoyed her other book too about women in Greek history 3mo
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squirrelbrain I really enjoyed A Thousand Ships too @BarbaraBB 3mo
Cortg I haven‘t seen this one around! I appreciate her for highlighting the women of Greek mythology 🙌🏼 3mo
KarenUK @Cinfhen @BarbaraBB @squirrelbrain @Cortg I really liked A Thousand ships too. And this non-fiction take had similar vibe… 💕 3mo
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BookBelle84
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This was a fascinating look at women in Greek mythology. It gave me a new appreciation for the myths and has made me think twice when it comes to my interpretation. It was enjoyable to listen to as the author narrated it herself.

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Bookish_Gal
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Very informative book about some of Greeks well know women. Whom were either villianized or left with one trait. I liked how the stories had many iterations from history being posed with serious questions. As well as describing surviving art. Most ladies were seen only as a wife, all other traits striped away. What if their stories held more? What if there was more to tier side of the story?
Loved Medusa story; I‘m partial to her story

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kera_11
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did Pandora really open a box full of all the bad things bc she was too curious or simply vindictive? or maybe it wasn‘t a box, maybe it was a jar that was top heavy and just fell off a table accidentally. also. who gave her a jar of bad things and how is this not their fault ???
a collection of essays on some of the most prominent women in Greek Mythology and whether they‘re a villain, victim, or monster, they‘re always a convenient scapegoat.

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Johanna414
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My sister-in-law and I both have birthdays this week, so my mom and grandma treated us to a girls day with shopping and lunch. Naturally, a bookstore was an essential part of the day! #bookhaul

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vivastory
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This was a brilliant excerpt on my favorite Greek tragedies-Aeschelyus' The Oresteian trilogy. I was unaware of Haynes book, scheduled for publication tomorrow, but ordered it based off of this. (Contains numerous spoilers) @batsy have you seen this?
https://lithub.com/is-clytemnestra-an-archetypically-bad-wife-or-a-heroically-av...

batsy No, I haven't! Thanks for sharing. 5mo
ozma.of.oz What a fantastic post! Thank you for sharing! (edited) 5mo
vivastory @ozma.of.oz I'm glad that you enjoyed it! I'm really looking forward to the book! 5mo
Vansa Have you listened to her "Stand up for the classics" on BBc Radio? Absolutely hilarious and insightful. Here's the link, in case you haven't! https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03yn6xr 4mo
vivastory @Vansa I'm not familiar with it. Thanks for the link! 4mo
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Oryx
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First outdoor reading of the year ☀️

Kdgordon88 Sounds lovely! And I‘m looking forward to reading this book. Loved A Thousand Ships. 5mo
squirrelbrain It‘s so nice in the sun isn‘t it?! 5mo
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Dilara
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For #foodandlit #Greece, I think I am going to go with Women in the Greek Myths, as I'm a fan of the author's BBC podcasts Natalie Haynes Stands up for the Classics (https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b077x8pc/episodes/player). I'll read something by a contemporary Greek author later on.

#foodandlit2022
@Butterfinger, @Texreader, @Catsandbooks

Texreader That‘s perfect!! 5mo
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Emilymdxn
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I already loved Natalie Haynes‘ novels but this was even more perfect. These essays on several famous women‘s roles in Greek myth is clearly written by a formidable expert, but also manages to be funny, thought provoking and sometimes very emotional. As much as what I learned from it, I loved the questions it made me ask about stories I thought I knew so well. Would recommend to anyone with any level of Greek knowledge

Tamra This has been on my TBR for quite awhile! I just haven‘t taken the plunge to buy it and I wouldn‘t want a library deadline with this kind of book. 7mo
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Emilymdxn
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Little update on my #bookspinbingo board for January! I‘ve never managed a bingo or blackout before and I have a tendency to lose and abandon boards but now I have my beautiful 2022 journal with all my reading challenges in it I hope that won‘t happen! Current read tagged, I think I‘ve done pretty well this month so far! @TheAromaofBooks

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! Looking fabulous!!! 7mo
sophies_little_library Looks great! I recommend Dangers of Smoking 7mo
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Jadams1776
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Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC.

I really enjoyed this look at women in Greek myths and how their stories change depending on the writer/artist. I particularly loved the chapters on Pandora and Penelope. Haynes‘ witty commentary makes this a very enjoyable read. 5/5

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Itchyfeetreader
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#12booksin2021 I adored this. The power in this feminist retelling is that it doesn‘t rewrite history so much as change the focus of what we think we already know and so reframes. V powerful and briefly had me looking up classics courses! (The dog knocked over a pint of water in my cover - not impressed!)

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Mitch
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Mmmmmm… will 2022 be the year of the chunkster or of Greek Mythology????🧐🧐🧐🧐

tokorowilliamwallace Why not both? I only have one Greek myth retelling (Odysseus' son come searching for him) I found thrifting (and not sure if an old historical romance set in Egypt counts as quasi-Cleopatra vibes), but I do have a lot of Chunksters! I do need to finish the Roman retelling of all the Greek myths as to explain their own culture in Metamorphoses, though. The Peter Meineck lectures on classical mythology from The Modern Scholar are highly recommended. 8mo
Mitch @tokorowilliamwallace there is just too many good books! 8mo
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readingjedi
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Today's little treat, Pt 2.

Dilara Oooh I might have to get this book. I love Natalie Haynes‘s BBC Radio 4 podcasts about the Ancient world. 9mo
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charl08
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...[as painted on the bowl owned by the museum, Medea] looks every inch a goddess as she flies stony faced through the air... In perhaps one of the greatest digital curatorial comments in any museum in the world, the Cleveland Museum of Art website used to list the description of the pot-"Here Medea flees the scene after murdering her children on a flying serpent pulled chariot' - under the heading. "Fun Fact." I salute this curator.

charl08 Not my cushion.... Sadly. 13mo
TrishB I was about to say lovely cushion! 13mo
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charl08

Translations and retellings-particularly of Greek myths for children tend to gloss over this uncomfortable fact...the problem with sanitizing these stories is that we develop a skewed perception. When we read that a satyr is attempting to carry off a nymph, to 'seize' a naiad, we are reading euphemisms.

To look at a specific and notorious example, Hades often 'abducts' Persephone....

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charl08

....women making a noise - whether speaking or shouting - tend to be viewed as intrinsically disruptive. Men are treated differently: the Greek hero Diomedes.... Like most Homeric heroes, he is usually described with one of several stock epithets. One of these phrases is 'boen agathos Diomedes - which is usually translated as 'Diomedes of the loud war cry', although literally it means 'Diomedes, good at shouting, which is somewhat less poetic.

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charl08

And then there is the daughter of Musaeus, a poet who wrote about the Trojan War in the eighth century BCE, before Homer.
This Helen owned a ....'a bilingual sheep." It's impossible to see how this Helen isn't the most famous woman in the ancient world, when one comes across a bilingual sheep so rarely

BookishMarginalia 😂😂😂 13mo
charl08 @BookishMarginalia This book is great - so funny. 13mo
BookishMarginalia 👍🏼 13mo
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charl08
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Euripides was an astonishing writer of women....Which is all the more remarkable when we remember that the actors playing female roles in the Athenian theatres would have been young men.... It's not just that women in Euripides' plays have agency and make decisions which advance the plot (although they do), it's also that he writes them with a rare insight into areas which simply don't feature in men's lives in the same way.

TrishB My daughters just finished this and loved it. 13mo
Tamra On my TBR! 13mo
Bookwomble Medea is a fantastic play. 13mo
charl08 @TrishB it's really engaging so far @Tamra look forward to hearing what you think. @Bookwomble I've never seen it! 13mo
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shanaqui
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Definitely ended up enjoying this, from feeling “meh, maybe?“ about it when I first picked it up. It quickly sucked me in, and then it was fascinating to read about some of the most famous interpretations of the women in Greek myths. Also, I know some of the music from Hadestown but very little else about it, so that was fun to learn a bit more about too, in the chapter on Eurydice.

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shanaqui

I forgot why I bought this, and was kind of meh on reading it, only to get immediately sucked in. Natalie Haynes tries to look at the textual history of various Greek heroines, and rehabilitate them somewhat -- or at least understand them. Enjoying it a lot so far!

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TheEllieMo
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I am posting one book per day from my extensive to-be-read collection. No description and providing no reason for wanting to read it, I just do. Some will be old, some will be new. Don‘t judge me - I have a lot of books. Join the fun if you want.
This is day 3 #bookstoread #TBRpile

charl08 I want to read this one! Looks good. 2y
cajunsyd What a beautiful cover! 2y
RamsFan1963 I've never heard of this one, but it's right up my ally. I love Greek Mythology 2y
TheEllieMo @RamsFan1963 it‘s a relatively new release, Haynes is promoting it at the moment at various (mostly online) literature festivals in the UK. I like the way she‘s re-establishing the women‘s stories from the Greek myths, after they were to a large extent written out in the “interests” of patriarchal society 2y
Revenge4bess Has anyone read this yet 1y
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