Talk:Thomas Bulfinch

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bowdlerization claim[edit]

the article says that bulfinch presented yths without 'unnecessary' violence, sex, pscyhology or 'ethnographic information'. i really do not understand this statement. the books are full of violence and sex and psychology. . . . here is a paragraph i was about to write into the footnotes f the article...

""In fact there is scarcely an ancient story or myth in the books that does not involve violence, sex, or psychology. For one example, the story of Castor and Pollux starts out with the fact that they were the offspring of Leda and a Swan (Jupiter in disguise), and that Leda gave birth to an egg. This is shortly followed by the story of Bacchus, and how the leader Pentheus in coming to attack him, stumbles upon an orgy in the woods, in which his own mother is taking part. She, believing him to be a wild boar ('blinded by the god'), proceeds to murder him with the help of his own aunts. As for psychology, Bulfinch states in the introduction to his King Arhtur section that "it is beginning to be held that the manners and the modes of thinking of an age are a more imporant part of history than the conflicts of its peoples". The stories are replete with studies of motivation and nature of character, and what drives them to their fates""

instead i think maybe i should just delete that sentence from the original article... but i am worried that perhaps there is something said there that has some grain of truth...

As the article states, "His obituary noted that the contents were "expurgated of all that would be offensive"." It would not improve the article to delete the reference to the obituary and substitute for it an expression of the feelings of an editor who doesn't log in.--Wetman (talk) 19:12, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

Criticism by Matthew White[edit]

There's cogent criticism of the quality of this article by Matthew White at [1]. Gdr 20:13, 2005 Apr 5 (UTC)

If the writer thinks Bulfinch bowdlerized the myths then he only has to say it once, not repeatedly at the expense of other information. Or maybe several writers tried to get their two cents in without checking whether it had already been said. That seems to happen a lot on popular Wikipedia articles.CharlesTheBold (talk) 04:39, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

Cleanup Tag[edit]

I had to add a cleanup tag. This article is actually very confusing. It's almost stream-of-consciousness writing! Something about Hebrew history and the Psalms then suddenly we're talking about his obituary (I assume it's referring to Thomas Bulfinch's obituary). Then something about Rome... it's like reading Ulysses. In response to the person who asked about Celtic mythology - no, Bulfinch doesn't go far beyond Saxon, Germanic and Norse mythology (although his sources for Charlemagne were all Italian writers according to his introduction to his third book) except of course Greek and Roman myths. Also, as I've mentioned I noted the cleanup tag as April 2007 even though today is March the 31st. I really don't know much about about Bulfinch's personal life and would have loved to see some decent criticisms of his work noted in this article. Wellesradio 17:38, 31 March 2007 (UTC)Wellesradio

Bulfinch vs Hamilton[edit]

It might be interesting if somebody wrote an article comparing Bulfinch's work with Edith Hamilton's, since the two of them dominate the field. For one thing, she only focused on Greek/Roman mythology and (briefly) the Norse, ignoring the midieval and Oriental legends that Bulfinch included. On the other hand, when they DID overlap, she went a lot deeper into analyzing the stories. CharlesTheBold (talk) 04:39, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

But they haven't dominated the middle-school "introduction to Greek mythology" field for decades. Both depended solely on the literary sources; Hamilton, who continued to ignore field archaeology, didn't weight Ovid the way Bulfinch did. --Wetman (talk) 05:50, 21 December 2009 (UTC)