Wednesday, 21 March 2018

golden thread or tanglewood tales

Named after a stately mansion whose grounds were the venue for outdoors summer concerts—a tradition in the Berkshires, a prime destination for industrialists in the Gilded Age—that the author had a view of from his humble rented cottage, Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote the book Tanglewood Tales for Boys and Girls as a sequel to A Wonder-Book for Girls and Boys in 1853.
The introduction to Greek mythology’s most celebrated edition was issued in 1921, accompanied with beautiful Art Nouveau illustrations by artist Virginia Frances Sterrett. This image depicts a scene from Circe’s palace—the sorceress who was the sister of Aeetes, keeper of the Golden Fleece, and aunt to the Minotaur—when Odysseus and his crew first enter to investigate, hearing Circe singing sweetly as she worked her handloom, an episode that foreshadows his eventual reunion with his faithful wife Penelope who was forever weaving and unweaving a burial shroud in anticipation of the death of her aged father-in-law Laรซrtes, offering that she is deferring picking from her many suitors until she is done with that task.