Tales of the Greek Heroes

Retold from the Ancient Authors

Roger Lancelyn Green

Illustrated by Romy Blümel

Introduced by Stephen Fry

Stephen Fry introduces the new Folio Society edition of Tales of the Greek Heroes, with Roger Lancelyn Green’s epic quests vividly illustrated by Romy Blümel.


Tales of the Ancient Greek Heroes

Roger Lancelyn Green had a passion and talent for translating the complex language of myths into a format that fascinates and engages readers of all ages – and has done for generations. In Tales of the Greek Heroes, he brings together a broad collection of stories of the Heroic Age. This beautifully imagined Folio edition includes newly commissioned, hand-painted illustrations that vividly depict the myths. It is a collection that will be avidly read and treasured by children, and rediscovered with nostalgic zeal by adults.


‘Great feats of both heroism and cruelty are recorded in these powerful and dramatic stories which have influenced storytelling ever since.’

  1. Julia Eccleshare Lovereading4kids

Production Details

Bound in blocked cloth
Set in Haarlemmer
280 pages
Frontispiece and 6 colour plates, 2 of which are double-page spreads
1 double-page full-colour map
Printed endpapers
Blocked slipcase
10˝ x 7 ½˝

adrenaline-filled exploits

From the mesmerising retelling of ‘The Coming of the Immortals’, to the gripping tale of Zeus’ gorgon-slaying son Perseus and the adrenaline-filled exploits in ‘The Quest for the Golden Fleece’, Green’s stories are packed full of warriors, princesses, heroes and heroines, all tackling monsters such as the Gorgons, Cyclops, Scylla and Charybdis, in far-flung adventures.

Drawing on a wealth of classical references

Green’s gift is to draw on the most authoritative classical Greek authors – Homer, Ovid, Apollonius of Rhodes – representing 2,000 years of Greek literature, and present them in simple but exciting language for readers of all ages. While other collections depict the stories in isolation, Green creates drama and tension by presenting his myths as a sequence of events, so that the Heroic Age is relived as a complete historical era.

Woven among the best-known myths – Perseus, Jason and Apollo – are briefer adventures, such as those of King Midas, and Orpheus and Eurydice. The result is a fascinating introduction to the characters (gods and mortals) and tales that comprise some of literature’s most important foundational texts.  

A keepsake edition for a new generation

‘When it comes to myths, we should say, “according to Green”’
  1. Stephen Fry, from the introduction

A great admirer of Green and a mine of mythological knowledge, we knew Stephen Fry would be perfectly suited to introducing our edition. His expertise adds a valuable historical prelude to the myths’ retelling and further confirms Green’s incredible skill.

Illustrator Romy Blümel’s clients include the New Yorker, Condé Nast Traveller and the Guardian Review, among others. Her illustrations are graphic and expressive, crammed full of Green’s mythical characters and their exploits. Her designs extend to the binding, with motifs depicting the myths, while her double-spread, full-colour map places the ancient tales in their geographical context.  


The Coming of the Immortals
Hermes and Apollo
The Story of Prometheus
How Zeus and Hermes Went Visiting
Typhon the Terrible
The Adventures of Dionysus
Perseus the Gorgon-Slayer
The Birth of Heracles
The Choice of Heracles
The Beginning of the Labours
The Story of Admetus
The Wanderings of Heracles
The Golden Apples, and the Hound of Hell
The Adventures of Theseus
The Quest of the Golden Fleece
The Return of the Argonauts
Meleager and Atalanta
The First Fall of Troy
The Battle of the Giants

About Roger Lancelyn Green

Roger Lancelyn Green was born in Norwich in 1918. An Oxford academic and librarian, he was one of the Inklings, alongside J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis. He published biographies of Lewis, Andrew Lang, J. M. Barrie and Lewis Carroll, among others, but is better known for his retellings of folk tales, myths and legends from around the world. In addition to Greek myths, he published collections of Norse and Egyptian myths, Arthurian legends, the stories of Robin Hood and stories from Shakespeare. Although a consummate reteller, he also published original fiction including The Luck of Troy (1961) and The Land of the Lord High Tiger (1958). He died in 1987.

about stephen fry

Stephen Fry is an English actor, screenwriter, author, playwright, journalist, poet, comedian, television presenter, film director and all-round national treasure. In addition to his numerous film and television credits, he has written 4 novels, an introduction to poetry, The Ode Less Travelled (2005), and 3 volumes of his bestselling autobiography, Moab Is My Washpot (1997), The Fry Chronicles (2010) and More Fool Me (2014). His most recent book, Mythos (2017), is a unique retelling of the Greek myths.

About Romy Blümel

Romy Blümel graduated with a degree in Design and Illustration from Hamburg University of Applied Sciences in 2008. Since then her work has been featured in newspapers, magazines, books and advertising. Her paintings have been exhibited in Shanghai, Seoul, Budapest, Paris, London and Antwerp. Blümel is a member of the Hamburg female artists’ collective Spring, which publishes the annual Spring magazine, an anthology of comics, illustration and free drawing. Blümel’s clients include The New Yorker, the International Herald Tribune, Die Zeit, Die Tageszeitung, Der Freitag, the Guardian Review, World of Interiors, MIT Technology Review, Los Angeles magazine, Condé Nast Traveller, the Financial Times and the Architectural Review, among others.


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