Bulfinch’s Mythology

Bulfinch’s Mythology is a collection of general audience works by American Latinist and banker Thomas Bulfinch, named after him and published after his death in 1867. The work was a highly successful popularization of Greek mythology for English-speaking readers.

Carl J. Richard comments (with John Talbot of Brigham Young University concurring) that it was “one of the most popular books ever published in the United States and the standard work on classical mythology for nearly a century”, until the release of classicist Edith Hamilton’s 1942 Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes. By 1987, there were more than 100 editions in the National Union Catalog, and in a survey of amazon.com in November 2014 there were 229 print editions and 19 e-books. Talbot opined that of the many available Richard P. Martin’s 1991 edition is “by far the most useful and extensive critical treatment”.

Although the book is still in print, and still used as introductory reading for schoolchildren in the United States, professor of English at the University of Connecticut David Adams Leeming observes that both it and Hamilton’s Mythology appear dated to a modern reader, more so than 20th century works such as Robert Graves’ 1955 The Greek Myths.

Read or listen to Bulfinch’s Mythology

by Thomas Bulfinch