A Wonder Book for Boys and Girls

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This edition of A Wonder Book for Girls and Boys includes a Foreword, ...

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A Wonder Book for Boys and Girls

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Overview

Tor Classics are affordably-priced editions designed to attract the young reader. Original dynamic cover art enthusiastically represents the excitement of each story. Appropriate "reader friendly" type sizes have been chosen for each title—offering clear, accurate, and readable text. All editions are complete and unabridged, and feature Introductions and Afterwords.

This edition of A Wonder Book for Girls and Boys includes a Foreword, Biographical Note, and Afterword by Eileen Charbonneau.

Thousands of years ago, when monsters roamed the earth and magic rules the world, the Greeks set sail among the islands of the Aegean Sea in search of incredible riches and fantastic adventures...adventures that would become legendary.

The Gorgons: cruel witches with snakes for hair.

Midas: everything he touched turned to gold...even people.

Hercules: the greatest hero of all time.

Chimaera: part lion, part goat, part snake—but all monster!

Pegasus: the magical flying horse.

These are only a few of the fabulous heroes and monsters in the collection of classic Greek adventures retold especially for young people by one of the world's greatest authors.

Retells the following Greek myths: "The Gorgon's Head," "The Golden Touch," "The Paradise of Children," "The Three Golden Apples," "The Miraculous Pitcher," and "The Chimaera." Includes essays on Nathaniel Hawthorne and Walter Crane.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812565232
  • Publisher: Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
  • Publication date: 6/28/1998
  • Series: Tor Classics Series
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Complete and Unabridged
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 4.25 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author


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.

Biography

Nathaniel Hathorne, Jr., was born into an established New England puritan family on Independence Day, 1804, in Salem, Massachusetts. After the sudden death of his father, he and his mother and sisters moved in with his mother's family in Salem. Nathaniel's early education was informal; he was home-schooled by tutors until he enrolled in Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine.

Uninterested in conventional professions such as law, medicine, or the ministry, Nathaniel chose instead to rely "for support upon my pen." After graduation, he returned to his hometown, wrote short stories and sketches, and chanced the spelling of his surname to "Hawthorne." Hawthorne's coterie consisted of transcendentalist thinkers, including Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. Although he did not subscribe entirely to the group's philosophy, he lived for six months at Brook Farm, a cooperative living community the transcendentalists established in West Roxbury, Massachusetts.

On July 9, 1942, Hawthorne married a follower of Emerson, Sophia Peabody, with whom he had a daughter, Una, and a son, Julian. The couple purchased a mansion in Concord, Massachusetts, that previously had been occupied by author Louisa May Alcott. Frequently in financial difficulty, Hawthorne worked at the custom houses in Salem and Boston to support his family and his writing. His peaceful life was interrupted when his college friend, Franklin Pierce, now president of the United States, appointed him U.S. consul at Liverpool, England, where he served for four years.

The publication of The Scarlet Letter in 1850 changed the way society viewed Puritanism. Considered his masterpiece, the novel focuses on Hawthorne's recurrent themes of sin, guilt, and punishment. Some critics have attributed his sense of guilt to his ancestors' connection with the persecution of Quakers in seventeenth-century New England and their prominent role in the Salem witchcraft trials in the 1690s.

On May 19, 1864, Hawthorne died in Plymouth, New Hampshire, leaving behind several unfinished novels that were published posthumously. He is buried at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord, Massachusetts.

Author biography from the Barnes & Noble Classics edition of The Scarlet Letter.

Good To Know

Hawthorne's birth name was actually Nathaniel Hathorne. It's rumored that he added a "w" to avoid being associated with his Puritan grandfather, Judge Hathorne -- who presided over the Salem Witch Trials.

Among Hawthorne's peers at Maine's Bowdoin College: author Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Franklin Pierce, who would later become the country's 14th president.

In its first week of publication, The Scarlet Letter sold 4,000 copies.

Hawthorne died on May 19, 1864, at the Pemigewasset House in Plymouth, New Hampshire. Ironically, former president Franklin Pierce had advised him to go there for his health.

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    1. Date of Birth:
      July 4, 1804
    2. Place of Birth:
      Salem, Massachusetts
    1. Date of Death:
      May 19, 1864
    2. Place of Death:
      Plymouth, New Hampshire
    1. Education:
      Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine, 1824

Read an Excerpt

A Wonder Book For Girls and Boys

The Gorgon's Head

TANGLEWOOD PORCH

INTRODUCTORY TO "THE GORGON'S HEAD"

Beneath the porch of the country-seat called Tanglewood, one fine autumnal morning, was assembled a merry party of little folks, with a tall youth in the midst of them. They had planned a nutting expedition, and were impatiently waiting for the mists to roll up the hill-slopes, and for the sun to pour the warmth of the Indian summer over the fields and pastures, and into the nooks of the many-colored woods. There was a prospect of as fine a day as ever gladdened the aspect of this beautiful and comfortable world. As yet, however, the morning mist filled up the whole length and breadth of the valley, above which, on a gently sloping eminence, the mansion stood.

This body of white vapor extended to within less than a hundred yards of the house. It completely hid everything beyond that distance, except a few ruddy or yellow tree-tops, which here and there emerged, and were glorified by the early sunshine, as was likewise the broad surface of the mist. Four or five miles off to the southward rose thesummit of Monument Mountain, and seemed to be floating on a cloud. Some fifteen miles farther away, in the same direction, appeared the loftier Dome of Taconic, looking blue and indistinct, and hardly so substantial as the vapory sea that almost rolled over it. The nearer hills, which bordered the valley, were half submerged, and were specked with little cloud-wreaths all the way to their tops. On the whole, there was so much cloud, and so little solid earth, that it had the effect of a vision.

The children above-mentioned, being as full of life as they could hold, kept overflowing from the porch of Tanglewood, and scampering along the gravel-walk, or rushing across the dewy herbage of the lawn. I can hardly tell how many of these small people there were; not less than nine or ten, however, nor more than a dozen, of all sorts, sizes, and ages, whether girls or boys. They were brothers, sisters, and cousins, together with a few of their young acquaintances, who had been invited by Mr. and Mrs. Pringle to spend some of this delightful weather with their own children, at Tanglewood. I am afraid to tell you their names, or even to give them any names which other children have ever been called by; because, to my certain knowledge, authors sometimes get themselves into great trouble by accidentally giving the names of real persons to the characters in their books. For this reason, I mean to call them Primrose, Periwinkle, Sweet Fern, Dandelion, Blue Eye, Clover, Huckleberry, Cowslip, Squash-Blossom, Milkweed, Plantain, and Buttercup; although, to be sure, such titles might better suit a group of fairies than a company of earthly children.

It is not to be supposed that these little folks were to be permitted by their careful fathers and mothers, uncles, aunts, or grandparents, to stray abroad into the woods and fields, without the guardianship of some particularly grave and elderly person. Oh no, indeed! In the first sentence of my book, you will recollect that I spoke of a tall youth, standing in the midst of the children. His name—(and Ishall let you know his real name, because he considers it a great honor to have told the stories that are here to be printed)—his name was Eustace Bright. He was a student at Williams College, and had reached, I think, at this period, the venerable age of eighteen years; so that he felt quite like a grandfather towards Periwinkle, Dandelion, Huckleberry, Squash-Blossom, Milkweed, and the rest, who were only half or a third as venerable as he. A trouble in his eyesight (such as many students think it necessary to have, nowadays, in order to prove their diligence at their books) had kept him from college a week or two after the beginning of the term. But, for my part, I have seldom met with a pair of eyes that looked as if they could see farther or better than those of Eustace Bright.

This learned student was slender, and rather pale, as all Yankee students are; but yet of a healthy aspect, and as light and active as if he had wings to his shoes. By the by, being much addicted to wading through streamlets and across meadows, he had put on cowhide boots for the expedition. He wore a linen blouse, a cloth cap, and a pair of green spectacles, which he had assumed, probably, less for the preservation of his eyes than for the dignity that they imparted to his countenance. In either case, however, he might as well have let them alone; for Huckleberry, a mischievous little elf, crept behind Eustace as he sat on the steps of the porch, snatched the spectacles from his nose, and clapped them on her own; and as the student forgot to take them back, they fell off into the grass, and lay there till the next spring.

Now, Eustace Bright, you must know, had won great fame among the children, as a narrator of wonderful stories; and though he sometimes pretended to be annoyed, when they teased him for more, and more, and always for more, yet I really doubt whether he liked anything quite so well as to tell them. You might have seen his eyes twinkle, therefore, when Clover, Sweet Fern, Cowslip, Buttercup,and most of their playmates, besought him to relate one of his stories, while they were waiting for the mist to clear up.

"Yes, Cousin Eustace," said Primrose, who was a bright girl of twelve, with laughing eyes, and a nose that turned up a little, "the morning is certainly the best time for the stories with which you so often tire out our patience. We shall be in less danger of hurting your feelings, by falling asleep at the most interesting points,—as little Cowslip and I did last night!"

"Naughty Primrose," cried Cowslip, a child of six years old; "I did not fall asleep, and I only shut my eyes, so as to see a picture of what Cousin Eustace was telling about. His stories are good to hear at night, because we can dream about them asleep; and good in the morning, too, because then we can dream about them awake. So I hope he will tell us one this very minute."

"Thank you, my little Cowslip," said Eustace; "certainly you shall have the best story I can think of, if it were only for defending me so well from that naughty Primrose. But, children, I have already told you so many fairy tales, that I doubt whether there is a single one which you have not heard at least twice over. I am afraid you will fall asleep in reality, if I repeat any of them again."

"No, no, no!" cried Blue Eye, Periwinkle, Plantain, and half a dozen others. "We like a story all the better for having heard it two or three times before."

And it is a truth, as regards children, that a story seems often to deepen its mark in their interest, not merely by two or three, but by numberless repetitions. But Eustace Bright, in the exuberance of his resources, scorned to avail himself of an advantage which an older story-teller would have been glad to grasp at.

"It would be a great pity," said he, "if a man of my learning (to say nothing of original fancy) could not find a new story every day, year in and year out, for childrensuch as you. I will tell you one of the nursery tales that were made for the amusement of our great old grandmother, the Earth, when she was a child in frock and pinafore. There are a hundred such; and it is a wonder to me that they have not long ago been put into picture-books for little girls and boys. But, instead of that, old gray-bearded grandsires pore over them in musty volumes of Greek, and puzzle themselves with trying to find out when, and how, and for what they were made."

"Well, well, well, well, Cousin Eustace!" cried all the children at once; "talk no more about your stories, but begin."

"Sit down, then, every soul of you," said Eustace Bright, "and be all as still as so many mice. At the slightest interruption, whether from great, naughty Primrose, little Dandelion, or any other, I shall bite the story short off between my teeth, and swallow the untold part. But, in the first place, do any of you know what a Gorgon is?"

"I do," said Primrose.

"Then hold your tongue!" rejoined Eustace, who had rather she would have known nothing about the matter. "Hold all your tongues, and I shall tell you a sweet pretty story of a Gorgon's head."

And so he did, as you may begin to read on the next page. Working up his sophomorical erudition with a good deal of tact, and incurring great obligations to Professor Anthon, he, nevertheless, disregarded all classical authorities, whenever the vagrant audacity of his imagination impelled him to do so.

All new material copyright © 1998 by Tom Doherty Associates, Inc.

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Table of Contents

The Gorgon's Head
Tanglewood Porch--Introductory to The Gorgon's Head 15
The Gorgon's Head 21
Tanglewood Porch--After the Story 57
The Golden Touch
Shadow Brook--Introductory to The Golden Touch 60
The Golden Touch 64
Shadow Brook--After the Story 90
The Paradise of Children
Tanglewood Play-Room--Introductory to The Paradise of Children 94
The Paradise of Children 99
Tanglewood Play-Room--After the Story 124
The Three Golden Apples
Tanglewood Fireside--Introductory to The Three Golden Apples 126
The Three Golden Apples 133
Tanglewood Fireside--After the Story 163
The Miraculous Pitcher
The Hill-Side--Introductory to the Miraculous Pitcher 167
The Miraculous Pitcher 171
The Hill-Side--After the Story 200
The Chimaera
Bald-Summit--Introductory to The Chimaera 202
The Chimaera 206
Bald-Summit--After the Story 238
List of Designs
Half-Title 1
Frontispiece--Bellerophon on Pegasus 2
Title 3
Preface 8
Tailpiece 9
Contents 11
List of Designs 12
Tailpiece 13
Headpiece--Tanglewood Porch 15
The Gorgon's Head--Headpiece 21
Perseus and the Graiae 37
Perseus armed by the Nymphs 42
Perseus and the Gorgons 49
Perseus showing the Gorgon's Head 54
Tailpiece 56
Headpiece--Tanglewood Porch, After the Story 57
Tailpiece 59
Headpiece--Shadow Brook 60
The Golden Touch--Headpiece 64
The Stranger appearing to Midas 69
Midas' Daughter turned to Gold 82
Midas with the Pitcher 87
Tailpiece 89
Headpiece--Shadow Brook, After the Story 90
Tailpiece 93
Headpiece--Tanglewood Play-Room 94
Tailpiece 98
The Paradise of Children--Headpiece 99
Pandora wonders at the Box 102
Pandora desires to open the Box 109
Pandora opens the Box 116
Tailpiece 123
Headpiece--Tanglewood Play-Room, After the Story 124
Headpiece--Tanglewood Fireside 126
Tailpiece 132
The Three Golden Apples--Headpiece 133
Hercules and the Nymphs 137
Hercules and the Old Man of the Sea 146
Hercules and Atlas 153
Tailpiece 162
Headpiece--Tanglewood Fireside, After the Story 163
Tailpiece 166
Headpiece--The Hill-Side 167
Tailpiece 170
The Miraculous Pitcher--Headpiece 171
Philemon and Baucis 172
The Strangers in the Village 177
The Strangers entertained 188
Tailpiece 199
Headpiece--The Hill-Side, After the Story 200
Tailpiece 201
Headpiece--Bald Summit 202
Tailpiece 205
The Chimaera--Headpiece 206
Bellerophon at the Fountain 211
Bellerophon slays the Chimaera 232
Tailpiece 237
Headpiece--Bald Summit, After the Story 238
Tailpiece 242
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