Who's Who; Mythology, Legends, Folk Tales, Romance
Who's Who; Mythology, Legends, Folk Tales, Romance by Eric Rosen. Toronto: Eric S. Rosen Publishing, 1997. ISBN 1-894023-01-3, paper, 103 pp., $10.
In his foreword, Rosen says that this book may be helpful as a starter and quick reference for those seeking to learn more about Greek and Roman mythology. In fact, as the title states, the book goes beyond Greece and Rome to include the mythologies of many countries and time periods, as well as later written and oral literature.
Entries, which are arranged alphabetically, are very brief. More care should have been taken to identify the country of origin of each entry. Asgard, for instance, is identified as Scandinavian but Midgard is not. Many of the Greek characters are identified only by their relationship to other people, on the assumption, perhaps, that readers will recognize which mythology they belong to. Some of the folk-tale characters are not identified by locale or time period, leaving them suspended in Limbo in the reader's mind. I checked a number of entries against other reference books in my collection and found them to be accurate as far as they go.
The unindexed appendix lists Penelope's suitors, the four virtues, the three fates, the three wise men, the three furies, the three musketeers, the nine muses, the precious stones of the zodiac, Greek mythological characters and their Roman counterparts. It also has entries for Casanova, Don Juan, and Samson, though why these were not included in the bodv of the book is unclear to me.
Rosen was right to describe this book as a starter, and people who want a quick tidbit of information may be satisfied. With a little more care it could have achieved snack, rather than tidbit status.
Order from Eric S. Rosen Publishing,. 35 Bradham Path,. Suite 205, Etobicoke, Ontario M8V 3Z9 416 253-4482
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The Second Story Review, Vol 3, No. 2, June 1998