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Edna Barth , Ati Forberg

Cupid and Psyche: A Love Story

YEAR: 1976

COUNTRY: United States of America

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Title of the work

Cupid and Psyche: A Love Story

Country of the First Edition

Country/countries of popularity

United States

Original Language

English

First Edition Date

1976

First Edition Details

Edna Barth, Cupid and Psyche: A Love Story. New York NY: Clarion Books, 1976, 64 pp.

ISBN

9780395288405

Genre

Fiction
Illustrated works
Myths
Novels

Target Audience

Crossover (Children/young adults)

Cover

Missing cover

We are still trying to obtain permission for posting the original cover.


Author of the Entry:

Ayelet Peer, Bar Ilan University, ayelet.peer@gmail.com

Peer-reviewer of the Entry:

Lisa Maurice, Bar Ilan University, mauril68@gmail.com

Susan Deacy, University of Roehampton, s.deacy@roehampton.ac.uk

Female portrait

Edna Barth , 1900 - 1981
(Author)

Edna Bath was born in Keokuk Iowa. She worked as a librarian and teacher and was also an editor and an author of children’s books. among her books were Hearts, Cupids and Red Roses: the Story of Valentine symbols; Balder and Mistletoe: A Story for the Winter Holidays, Jack O’Lantern, and more.


Sources: 

Profile at the bookologymagazine.com (accessed: July 4, 2018).

Profile at the goodreads.com (accessed: July 4, 2018).

Profile at the bookologymagazine.com (accessed: July 4, 2018).


Bio prepared by Ayelet Peer, Bar Ilan University, ayelet.peer@gmail.com


Female portrait

Ati Forberg (Illustrator)


Summary

The book offers a short retelling of the love story between the mortal Psyche and the God Cupid, son of Venus. The original tale appeared in Apuleius’ Metamorphoses (the golden ass). The god of love falls in love with the beautiful mortal Psyche who is at first ignorant of his true identity. Yet his mother objects their relationship. The lovers need to fight many obstacles to keep their love. The story is a retelling of the renowned love story, adapted for young readership. It narrates the obstacles facing the young couples and how love can triumph all.

Analysis

This is a retelling of Apuleius’ Cupid and Psyche. The story is accompanied by attractive black and white illustrations of the characters, with a drawing of an Ionian column between the pages adding to the classical feel. It is a quite standard retelling of the myth; Psyche’s beauty and the jealousy it causes with both her sisters and Venus. A new addition to the story, however, is that Cupid sprinkles Psyche with water from Venus’ bitter fountain while she is asleep. Yet he becomes captivated by her beauty and regretting his action he sprinkles her with the sweet fountain waters. This seems to be taken from

Thomas Bulfinch’s influential The Age of the Fable, clearly a source for this version.

Another aspect highlighted in the story is that Psyche wished to preform great deeds; she longed to be a prince who could do brave things; as a princess, her only prospect was marriage. From these lines we can see the empowering message in the story, for, unlike in Apuleius or even Bullfinch, in the end Psyche is able to achieve great deeds regardless of her gender. Her determination is put to the test when she needs to convince Venus of her love of Cupid. In her journey for Cupid, Psych encounters Ceres and Juno who, however, refuse to help her against Venus, forcing Psyche to fulfill Venus’ tasks. The end of the story is a happy one with Psyche and Cupid happily married, a marriage of equals as Zeus promises her. Psyche has learned to act bravely and independently, rather than being a pawn of her parents or jealous sister. Learning to fight for what was truly important to her, she is no longer a helpless victim.


Further Reading

Lisa Maurice, “Cupid and Psyche for Children”, forthcoming in Stephen Harrison and Regine May, The Reception of Cupid and Psyche in Western Literature, (Oxford: OUP, 2018).

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Leaf pattern

Title of the work

Cupid and Psyche: A Love Story

Country of the First Edition

Country/countries of popularity

United States

Original Language

English

First Edition Date

1976

First Edition Details

Edna Barth, Cupid and Psyche: A Love Story. New York NY: Clarion Books, 1976, 64 pp.

ISBN

9780395288405

Genre

Fiction
Illustrated works
Myths
Novels

Target Audience

Crossover (Children/young adults)

Cover

Missing cover

We are still trying to obtain permission for posting the original cover.


Author of the Entry:

Ayelet Peer, Bar Ilan University, ayelet.peer@gmail.com

Peer-reviewer of the Entry:

Lisa Maurice, Bar Ilan University, mauril68@gmail.com

Susan Deacy, University of Roehampton, s.deacy@roehampton.ac.uk

Female portrait

Edna Barth (Author)

Edna Bath was born in Keokuk Iowa. She worked as a librarian and teacher and was also an editor and an author of children’s books. among her books were Hearts, Cupids and Red Roses: the Story of Valentine symbols; Balder and Mistletoe: A Story for the Winter Holidays, Jack O’Lantern, and more.


Sources: 

Profile at the bookologymagazine.com (accessed: July 4, 2018).

Profile at the goodreads.com (accessed: July 4, 2018).

Profile at the bookologymagazine.com (accessed: July 4, 2018).


Bio prepared by Ayelet Peer, Bar Ilan University, ayelet.peer@gmail.com


Female portrait

Ati Forberg (Illustrator)


Summary

The book offers a short retelling of the love story between the mortal Psyche and the God Cupid, son of Venus. The original tale appeared in Apuleius’ Metamorphoses (the golden ass). The god of love falls in love with the beautiful mortal Psyche who is at first ignorant of his true identity. Yet his mother objects their relationship. The lovers need to fight many obstacles to keep their love. The story is a retelling of the renowned love story, adapted for young readership. It narrates the obstacles facing the young couples and how love can triumph all.

Analysis

This is a retelling of Apuleius’ Cupid and Psyche. The story is accompanied by attractive black and white illustrations of the characters, with a drawing of an Ionian column between the pages adding to the classical feel. It is a quite standard retelling of the myth; Psyche’s beauty and the jealousy it causes with both her sisters and Venus. A new addition to the story, however, is that Cupid sprinkles Psyche with water from Venus’ bitter fountain while she is asleep. Yet he becomes captivated by her beauty and regretting his action he sprinkles her with the sweet fountain waters. This seems to be taken from

Thomas Bulfinch’s influential The Age of the Fable, clearly a source for this version.

Another aspect highlighted in the story is that Psyche wished to preform great deeds; she longed to be a prince who could do brave things; as a princess, her only prospect was marriage. From these lines we can see the empowering message in the story, for, unlike in Apuleius or even Bullfinch, in the end Psyche is able to achieve great deeds regardless of her gender. Her determination is put to the test when she needs to convince Venus of her love of Cupid. In her journey for Cupid, Psych encounters Ceres and Juno who, however, refuse to help her against Venus, forcing Psyche to fulfill Venus’ tasks. The end of the story is a happy one with Psyche and Cupid happily married, a marriage of equals as Zeus promises her. Psyche has learned to act bravely and independently, rather than being a pawn of her parents or jealous sister. Learning to fight for what was truly important to her, she is no longer a helpless victim.


Further Reading

Lisa Maurice, “Cupid and Psyche for Children”, forthcoming in Stephen Harrison and Regine May, The Reception of Cupid and Psyche in Western Literature, (Oxford: OUP, 2018).

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