A Wonder-Book for Boys and Girls

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The first major retelling of the Greek myths and legends, A WONDER-BOOK was published in 1852. The American novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne was a friend of the poet Longfellow and had much earlier suggested they collaborate on a story for children based on the legend of Pandora's Box, but this never materialized. Hawthorne went ahead on his own, adding five other myths which he adapted very freely in a romantic and readable style, used deliberately to remove the classical tales from what he called 'cold moonshine. ' Hawthorne's book was criticized by adults for his bowdlerization, but it has always been popular with children and has attracted many illustrators, none more distinguished than Arthur Rackham who made his pictorial contribution in 1922.