Thomas Bulfinch was an American banker and Latin scholar. Bulfinch’s Mythology is a posthumous compilation of three volumes published by Bulfinch during his lifetime which were intended to introduce the general reader to the myths and legends of Western Civilization by presenting them in simple prose with occasional commentary by the author. Bulfinch also includes many quotations showing how these stories have been handled by poets and playwrights of later years.
The three original volumes are The Age of Fable (1855), dealing largely with Greek and Roman mythology but also touching on the mythology of other cultures such as the Indian, Egyptian and Norse myths; The Age of Chivalry (1858), dealing with Arthurian legend, the Holy Grail and the Mabinogeon; and Legends of Charlemagne (1863), dealing with the fantastical legends surrounding Charlemagne and his “paladins” such as Orlando, Oliver and Rogero.
The combined volume entitled Bulfinch’s Mythology quickly became very popular, and by some accounts it is one of the most popular books ever published in the United States.
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