A Wonder-Book for Girls and Boys

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The Midas myth, from A Wonder-Book for Girls and Boys. Illustration by Walter Crane, published 1893.

A Wonder-Book for Girls and Boys (1851) is a children's book written by American author Nathaniel Hawthorne in which he rewrites myths from Greek mythology. It was followed by a sequel, Tanglewood Tales for Boys and Girls.

The stories are all stories within a story, the frame story being that a Williams College student, Eustace Bright, is telling these tales to a group of children at Tanglewood, an estate in Lenox, Massachusetts, where Hawthorne lived for a time.

A Wonder-Book for Girls and Boys covers the myths of

Hawthorne wrote the book immediately after House of the Seven Gables, which had sold 6,710 copies by August 1851, and this book sold 4,667 copies in just two months after its November 1851 publication. His friend, Herman Melville's magnum opus Moby Dick was released the same month, the British edition selling under 300 copies in two years, and the American edition under 1800 in the first year.[1][2][3]


  1. ^ Hawthorne and Melville: Writing a Relationship Jana L. Argersinger, Leland S. Person; University of Georgia Press, 2008; 378 pages; pages 249, 258
  2. ^ Dive Deeper: Journeys with Moby-Dick George Cotkin; Oxford University Press, Jul 1, 2012; 320 pages; page 134
  3. ^ A Victorian Publisher: A Study of the Bentley Papers Royal A. Gettmann; Cambridge University Press, Jun 10, 2010; 296 pages; page 173

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