Here are the stories of King Midas, Pandora, Medusa, Hercules, and the other inhabitants of Mount Olympus told by one of America's greatest writers. Written in 1851 as a money-maker for the struggling Hawthorne, A Wonder Book has become a favorite for generations of children everywhere. Hawthorne's mastery of adventure and his command of narrative and character open a child's mind to the wondrous landscapes of ancient mythology in stories such as "The Gorgon's Head" and "The Three Golden Apples." Oxford has created a beautiful and memorable edition of this classic children's text with illustrations by famed book artist Walter Crane, whose full-color plates and decorative art originally accompanied the text in the late 1800s. An introduction by Ola d'Aulaire, son of the creators of D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths, sets the stage for the young reader, and an afterword for adults by Hawthorne scholar Joel Pfister places A Wonder Book in Hawthorne's body of work and in historical context, conveying the strength of its romantic imagination in the face of the encroaching Industrial Revolution. Adults and collectors will find this major new edition a treasure and their children will happily enter a world of magic and imagination, led by one of the greatest American storytellers.
Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864), though best known for his novels and short stories for adults, also produced several works for children, including a companion volume to A Wonder Book called Tanglewood Tales (1853). About the Illustrator: Walter Crane (1845-1915) was one of the most popular English illustrators of children's books in the late nineteenth century. He was one of the first book artists to experiment with color in picture books