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  • Pandora's Jar

  • Women in the Greek Myths
  • Written by: Natalie Haynes
  • Narrated by: Natalie Haynes
  • Length: 9 hrs and 24 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (74 ratings)

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Pandora's Jar

Written by: Natalie Haynes
Narrated by: Natalie Haynes
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Publisher's Summary

“Funny, sharp explications of what these sometimes not-very-nice women were up to, and how they sometimes made idiots of . . . but read on!”—Margaret Atwood, author of The Handmaid's Tale

The national bestselling author of A Thousand Ships returns with a fascinating, eye-opening take on the remarkable women at the heart of classical stories Greek mythology from Helen of Troy to Pandora and the Amazons to Medea.

The tellers of Greek myths—historically men—have routinely sidelined the female characters. When they do take a larger role, women are often portrayed as monstrous, vengeful or just plain evil—like Pandora, the woman of eternal scorn and damnation whose curiosity is tasked with causing all the world’s suffering and wickedness when she opened that forbidden box. But, as Natalie Haynes reveals, in ancient Greek myths there was no box. It was a jar . . . which is far more likely to tip over.

In Pandora’s Jar, the broadcaster, writer, stand-up comedian, and passionate classicist turns the tables, putting the women of the Greek myths on an equal footing with the men. With wit, humor, and savvy, Haynes revolutionizes our understanding of epic poems, stories, and plays, resurrecting them from a woman’s perspective and tracing the origins of their mythic female characters. She looks at women such as Jocasta, Oedipus’ mother-turned-lover-and-wife (turned Freudian sticking point), at once the cleverest person in the story and yet often unnoticed. She considers Helen of Troy, whose marriage to Paris “caused” the Trojan war—a somewhat uneven response to her decision to leave her husband for another man. She demonstrates how the vilified Medea was like an ancient Beyonce—getting her revenge on the man who hurt and betrayed her, if by extreme measures. And she turns her eye to Medusa, the original monstered woman, whose stare turned men to stone, but who wasn’t always a monster, and had her hair turned to snakes as punishment for being raped.

Pandora’s Jar brings nuance and care to the millennia-old myths and legends and asks the question: Why are we so quick to villainize these women in the first place—and so eager to accept the stories we’ve been told?

Supplemental enhancement PDF accompanies the audiobook.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2022 Natalie Haynes (P)2022 HarperCollins Publishers
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about Pandora's Jar

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    4 out of 5 stars

Fan freaking tasting

Well written and a thoroughly education insight to women in mythology fan freaking tasting learned so much.

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  • Sue
  • 2024-02-16

Interesting content, beautiful narration!

Love the narration as well as the content. I’ve already recommended this to two of my students

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A Fantastic Analysis of Women in Greek Myth

I purchased this book not knowing what it was going to be, but ended up falling in love with it.
Its very rare that women of greek myth have any attention other than being wrathful or scorned, cheated on or r worded, so it is always refreshing to hear about the myths throughout the ages and how the tellings changed with time.

One of my favourite books by far and a great way to bring light to women who are often overlooked. Well done!

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Absolutely excellent

I was expecting something more like mythos, in terms of full on story telling, but this was in some ways even better. So insightful! I learned so many new aspects to many stories from Greek myth, and felt like in many instances these women were finally being given due credit. To really know them as full, multi dimensional characters.
I was also, tbh, shocked a number of times at how much of the women’s story, or background, or character, has been stripped away in more modern works compared to ancient ones.
The authors performance is also excellent, I had many chuckles and laughs at her cheeky asides and her voice is very pleasant to listen to. I loved this. If you enjoy Greek mythology and/or ancient history, this is a must listen.

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Love this!

This book is delightful! Well written, incredibly researched and the passion from the author is inspiring. I am so glad I listened to this book.

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Highly interesting retelling of Greek myths

Great narration and very interesting retelling of Greek myths from a different perspective. New info blended with old.

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A fascinating exploration of the women in Green mythology

A fascinating and intelligent retelling and analysis of the stories of key women in Greek mythology. Haines’ dry wit and pop culture references make this a fun read/ listen, but it’s also thoroughly researched, tracking the portrayal of these women through versions of their myths throughout history, from Euripides and Homer to Margaret Atwood and Rick Riordan. Highly recommended.

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Fantastic!

The author knows her genre, her research is in-depth and varied and her narration is perfect. I am a huge fan of these myths and to hear the way she unfolds the hostories and stories of these women is excellent.
I was in awe of the way the author weaved in so many other mediums including 'The Simpsons', 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' and Margaret Atwood, Aart, sculpture and song.
Fabulous

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A must read.

Amazing, insightful, educational and well written. I enjoyed every minute. The research was in-depth and scholarly, she did an amazing job.

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  • Amy
  • 2022-08-14

Pandora’s Jar is a must read, or listen, book!

Natalie Haynes has written a much needed and very well crafted book! And what a great narrator!
Loved this, learned a lot and really enjoyed it. Intend to listen again, it was that good!

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