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Wonder Book for Girls and Boys

Wonder Book for Girls and Boys by Nathaniel Hawthorne
By: (1804-1864)

A Yankee student stays at a country house called Tanglewood during a golden New England fall. Also at the house are about a dozen children: younger cousins of the student and their friends of varying ages. The student, as much to amuse himself as to amuse the children, organises games and activities and tells stories. And the stories he tells are wild and fantastic. When his store of fairy tales and folk legends is exhausted he hits on the idea of retelling Greek Myths in his own style.

We visit Tanglewood six times during the course of a year and hear six of the student's beautifully told stories: The Gorgon's Head, The Golden Touch, A Paradise of Children, The Three Golden Apples, The Miraculous Pitcher and The Chimaera.

First Page:





With 60 Designs by Walter Crane

Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company


Copyright, 1851, by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Copyright, 1879, by Rose Hawthorne Lathrop

Copyright, 1883 and 1892, by Houghton, Mifflin & Co.

All Rights Reserved



The author has long been of opinion that many of the classical myths were capable of being rendered into very capital reading for children. In the little volume here offered to the public, he has worked up half a dozen of them, with this end in view. A great freedom of treatment was necessary to his plan; but it will be observed by every one who attempts to render these legends malleable in his intellectual furnace, that they are marvellously independent of all temporary modes and circumstances. They remain essentially the same, after changes that would affect the identity of almost anything else.

He does not, therefore, plead guilty to a sacrilege, in having sometimes shaped anew, as his fancy dictated, the forms that have been hallowed by an antiquity of two or three thousand years... Continue reading book >>

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