King Midas is obsessed with gold: counting it, touching it, imagining it. But when a strange young man grants his wish for a golden touch, things don’t go quite as he planned—particularly for his daughter Marigold. In these selections from classic American author Nathaniel Hawthorne’s charming retellings of Greek myths, children meet Midas and another engaging troublemaker, Pandora. The myths had, Hawthorne wrote, been around so long that they were “legitimate subjects for every age to clothe with its own garniture of manners and sentiment, and to imbue with its own morality.” Ultimately Hawthorne’s retellings of the myths are less didactic than simply entertaining, told in a conversational style that makes them perfect for children.
About the Author
Nathaniel Hawthorne is best known for his distinctly adult morality tales in novels like The Scarlet Letter. So it’s a surprise that he began his career writing educational books about history and geography for children. In A Wonder Book for Girls and Boys, published in 1852, he retold Greek myths for children and took every liberty to turn them into stories for the ages.
Date of Birth:July 4, 1804
Date of Death:May 19, 1864
Place of Birth:Salem, Massachusetts
Place of Death:Plymouth, New Hampshire
Education:Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine, 1824
Table of Contents
1. The Golden Touch (King Midas)
2. Pandora’s Box (A Paradise of Children)