arrow_upward

Robert Baxter , I. M. Richardson

Prometheus and the Story of Fire

YEAR: 1983

COUNTRY: United States of America

Cateogry icon

Title of the work

Prometheus and the Story of Fire

Country of the First Edition

Country/countries of popularity

United States

Original Language

English

First Edition Date

1983

First Edition Details

I.M. Richardson, Prometheus and the Story of Fire. USA: Troll Communications, L.L.C., 1983, 32 pp.

ISBN

0893758590

Genre

Illustrated works
Myths
Picture books

Target Audience

Children

Cover

Missing cover

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


Author of the Entry:

Allison Rosenblum, Bar Ilan University, allie.rose89@gmail.com

Peer-reviewer of the Entry:

Lisa Maurice, Bar-Ilan University, lisa.maurice@biu.ac.il

Elizabeth Hale, University of New England, ehale@une.edu.au

Male portrait

Robert Baxter , b. 1930
(Illustrator)

Baxter is an illustrator and studio artist who works with both watercolour and oil. He studied at the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles from 1954-1957. He was one of six artists who started Studio II, a school/studio in Connecticut. He currently is on the faculty of two Connecticut schools - Silvermine School of Art and Rowayton Art Center. He has won eleven awards, the last being the Ogden Pleisner Memorial Prize from the American Watercolor Society in 1999, and his last exhibition was in 2011 at the Westport Historical Society in Connecticut. 


Source:

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


Bio prepared by Allison Rosenblum, Bar Ilan University, allie.rose89@gmail.com


Male portrait

I. M. Richardson (Author)

I. M. Richardson has written a number of children’s retellings of classic literature such as Demeter and Persephone: the Seasons of Time, The Adventures of Eros and Psyche, The Adventures of Hercules, Tales from the Odyssey, etc.


Source:

Profile at the goodreads.com (accessed: June 25, 2018).


Bio prepared by Allison Rosenblum, Bar Ilan University, allie.rose89@gmail.com


Summary

The book claims that the origin of the characters of Greek mythology can be found in the stories of Prometheus and Pandora. The narrative begins with chaos and the appearance of Gaea and Uranus, whose first children were monsters. Siblings to these monsters were Cyclops and Titans. Gaea calls upon her Titan children to fight Uranus, who had locked the monsters underground. Cronus steps forward and succeeds in overthrowing Cronus. To make sure he remains ruler of the universe and that none of his children threaten him, he swallows them. His six child, Zeus, is smuggled away by Rhea. Zeus’ escape eventually led to the war between the gods following Zeus and the Titans. Prometheus’ wisdom is what stops the war. Zeus decides he wants animals and people in the universe, and tasks Prometheus with creating them. Prometheus wants to give fire to his mortal creations and steals it from the gods. Zeus punishes the mortals by creating Pandora and giving her the box she was meant never to open, and Prometheus by chaining him to Mount Caucasus. He was willing to free Prometheus if the Titan revealed who would be Zeus’ downfall, but Prometheus refused to say. His punishment got worse and continued until Hercules eventually set him free. 

Analysis

Prometheus and the Story of Fire is a straightforward, authentic retelling of the Greek myth. It starts with the origins of Greek mythology, giving a short though detailed background about the creation of the Titans, Cronus’ fight with Uranus, Zeus’ fight against Cronus, and the battle between the Titans and Olympians. The story focuses on Prometheus’ wisdom and good will, emphasizing the benevolence of his action in stealing the fire and his fortitude in not revealing to Zeus who would bring about his downfall, breaking the cycle started by Uranus. The story of Pandora is discussed only as it relates to the chain of events in Greek mythology (Pandora is merely the punishment for Prometheus stealing the fire and giving it to mankind). The narrative takes a passive approach in discussing her curiosity and the eventual opening of the box. It portrays her as an agent of the gods whose curiosity – given to her by a god (the narrative makes a vague suggestion that it could be Zeus, but does not claim straight out that it was him) – got the best of her. 

The illustrations appear on every page and the palette is a relatively dark one. The narrative itself is not particularly dark or pessimistic, but it does focus on the troubles and turmoil that Prometheus had to face at the hands of Zeus.


Yellow cloud
Leaf pattern
Leaf pattern

Title of the work

Prometheus and the Story of Fire

Country of the First Edition

Country/countries of popularity

United States

Original Language

English

First Edition Date

1983

First Edition Details

I.M. Richardson, Prometheus and the Story of Fire. USA: Troll Communications, L.L.C., 1983, 32 pp.

ISBN

0893758590

Genre

Illustrated works
Myths
Picture books

Target Audience

Children

Cover

Missing cover

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


Author of the Entry:

Allison Rosenblum, Bar Ilan University, allie.rose89@gmail.com

Peer-reviewer of the Entry:

Lisa Maurice, Bar-Ilan University, lisa.maurice@biu.ac.il

Elizabeth Hale, University of New England, ehale@une.edu.au

Male portrait

Robert Baxter (Illustrator)

Baxter is an illustrator and studio artist who works with both watercolour and oil. He studied at the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles from 1954-1957. He was one of six artists who started Studio II, a school/studio in Connecticut. He currently is on the faculty of two Connecticut schools - Silvermine School of Art and Rowayton Art Center. He has won eleven awards, the last being the Ogden Pleisner Memorial Prize from the American Watercolor Society in 1999, and his last exhibition was in 2011 at the Westport Historical Society in Connecticut. 


Source:

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


Bio prepared by Allison Rosenblum, Bar Ilan University, allie.rose89@gmail.com


Male portrait

I. M. Richardson (Author)

I. M. Richardson has written a number of children’s retellings of classic literature such as Demeter and Persephone: the Seasons of Time, The Adventures of Eros and Psyche, The Adventures of Hercules, Tales from the Odyssey, etc.


Source:

Profile at the goodreads.com (accessed: June 25, 2018).


Bio prepared by Allison Rosenblum, Bar Ilan University, allie.rose89@gmail.com


Summary

The book claims that the origin of the characters of Greek mythology can be found in the stories of Prometheus and Pandora. The narrative begins with chaos and the appearance of Gaea and Uranus, whose first children were monsters. Siblings to these monsters were Cyclops and Titans. Gaea calls upon her Titan children to fight Uranus, who had locked the monsters underground. Cronus steps forward and succeeds in overthrowing Cronus. To make sure he remains ruler of the universe and that none of his children threaten him, he swallows them. His six child, Zeus, is smuggled away by Rhea. Zeus’ escape eventually led to the war between the gods following Zeus and the Titans. Prometheus’ wisdom is what stops the war. Zeus decides he wants animals and people in the universe, and tasks Prometheus with creating them. Prometheus wants to give fire to his mortal creations and steals it from the gods. Zeus punishes the mortals by creating Pandora and giving her the box she was meant never to open, and Prometheus by chaining him to Mount Caucasus. He was willing to free Prometheus if the Titan revealed who would be Zeus’ downfall, but Prometheus refused to say. His punishment got worse and continued until Hercules eventually set him free. 

Analysis

Prometheus and the Story of Fire is a straightforward, authentic retelling of the Greek myth. It starts with the origins of Greek mythology, giving a short though detailed background about the creation of the Titans, Cronus’ fight with Uranus, Zeus’ fight against Cronus, and the battle between the Titans and Olympians. The story focuses on Prometheus’ wisdom and good will, emphasizing the benevolence of his action in stealing the fire and his fortitude in not revealing to Zeus who would bring about his downfall, breaking the cycle started by Uranus. The story of Pandora is discussed only as it relates to the chain of events in Greek mythology (Pandora is merely the punishment for Prometheus stealing the fire and giving it to mankind). The narrative takes a passive approach in discussing her curiosity and the eventual opening of the box. It portrays her as an agent of the gods whose curiosity – given to her by a god (the narrative makes a vague suggestion that it could be Zeus, but does not claim straight out that it was him) – got the best of her. 

The illustrations appear on every page and the palette is a relatively dark one. The narrative itself is not particularly dark or pessimistic, but it does focus on the troubles and turmoil that Prometheus had to face at the hands of Zeus.


Yellow cloud