PANDORA’S JARWomen in the Greek Myths

The Greek myths are one of the most important cultural foundation-stones of the modern world.

Stories of gods and monsters are the mainstay of epic poetry and Greek tragedy, from Homer to Virgil to from Aeschylus to Sophocles and Euripides. 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.

Now, in Pandora’s Jar, Natalie Haynes – broadcaster, writer and passionate classicist – redresses this imbalance. Taking Greek creation myths as her starting point and then retelling the four great mythic sagas: the Trojan War, the Royal House of Thebes, Jason and the Argonauts, Heracles, she puts the female characters on equal footing with their menfolk. The result is a vivid and powerful account of the deeds – and misdeeds – of Hera, Aphrodite, Athene and Circe. And away from the goddesses of Mount Olympus it is Helen, Clytemnestra, Jocasta, Antigone and Medea who sing from these pages, not Paris, Agamemnon, Orestes or Jason.

Genre: History 

Number of Pages: 310 Pages

Date of Publication: 01/10/2020


The author of this book is Natalie Haynes. The beautiful cover was created by Petra Borner.

Published by Pan Macmillan

Rating: 5/5 


Wow, I have always been fascinated by Greek Mythology so I was very happy to have come across this book. I loved that the main focus were women in Greek Mythology who have always played either the helpless victim or the antagonists and villains in most stories. Through this work we are able to get a real feel for the character’s voices and their own stories. This books explores the myths of Pandora, Medusa, The Amazons, Jocasta, Helen, Eurydice, Clytemnestra, Medea, Penelope and Phaedra. Each of them get a chapter where we are able to learn more about these women.

This book made me think of how many times these characters have been misrepresented even more recent and (occasionally) enlightened times. It is clear how much time and research was put in this book but there were also funny parts and an excellent narrative in this amazing work.

Definitely a book that I recommend to anyone interested in reading about another side of the Greek Mythology. The cover is just beautiful which gives a real feel of the source material.

Availability: The book is available in all good bookshops.

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