Classical Myth Retellings

Due to my love of all things ancient I have decided to compile a list of books inspired by classical myth and history. Naturally, this list won’t be exhaustive but I hope to continue to expand upon it as I discover new titles. I have also provided a key with some of the information I think you may find most useful when trying to look through the list.

A further resource you should check out if you are specifically interested in classical receptions in children’s and young adult literature is the Our Mythical Childhood project.

Key: Adult, Young Adult, Children’s, Short Story Collections, Poetry, Graphic Novel, Ancient setting, Modern setting, 1st in a series & Queer characters.

Agatha Christie – The Labours of Hercules (Poirot), A, Mod, (inspired by the Twelve Labours of Hercules)

Ali Smith – Girl Meets Boy, A, Mod, Q, (inspired by Iphis)

Ali Smith – The Story of Antigone, C, Anc, (inspired by Antigone)

Alice Oswald – Memorial, AP, (inspired by the Iliad)

Alice Oswald – Nobody, AP, (inspired by the Odyssey)

Anne Carson – Autobiography of Red, A, P, Q, (inspired by Hercules)

Annie Sullivan – A Touch of Gold, Y, Anc, (inspired by King Midas)

Anwen Kya Hayward – Here, the World Entire, A, Anc, (inspired by Medusa)

Arthur Machen – The Great God PanA, Mod, (inspired by Pan and Helen of Troy)

Barry Unsworth – The Song of Kings, A, Anc, (inspired by Iphegenia)

Brynne Rebele-Henry – Orpheus Girl, Y, Mod, Q, (inspired by Orpheus and Eurydice)

Caroline Lawrence – The Thieves of OstiaC, Anc, 1st, (various)

Caroline Lawrence – The Time Travel Diaries, C, Anc, Mod, 1st,  (inspired by Londinium)

Chigozi Obioma – An Orchestra of Minorities, A, Mod, (inspired by the Odyssey)

Christa Wolf – Cassandra, A, Anc, (inspired by Cassandra)

Christopher Logue – War Music, A, P, (inspired by Homer’s Iliad)

Claire Andrews – Daughter of Sparta, Y, Anc, (inspired by Daphne and Apollo)

Claire Davon – Gorgon’s Price, A, Anc, 1st, (inspired by the gorge Euryale)

Colleen McCullough – The Song of Troy, A, Anc, (inspired by the Trojan War)

Colm Tóibín – House of NamesA, Anc, (inspired by Clytemnestra)

Constance M. Burges – Soul of the Bride (a Charmed novel),  A, Mod, (inspired by Hades)

C. S. Lewis – Till We Have Faces, A, Anc, (inspired by Eros and Psyche)

Daisy Johnson – Everything UnderA, Mod, (inspired by Oedipus)

David Almond – A Song for Ella Grey, Y, Mod, (inspired by Eurydice and Orpheus)

David Gemmell – Troy: Lord of the Silver Bow, A, Anc, 1st, (inspired by the Trojan War)

David Hair & Cathy Mayo – Athena’s Champion, Y, Anc, 1st, (inspired by Odysseus)

Djibril al-Ayad and Emma Bridges – Making MonstersA, S, (various)

Eli Goldstone – Strange Heart BeatingA, Mod, (inspired by Leda and the swan)

Eliza Raine – The Power of Hades, A, Mod, 1st, (inspired by Hades)

Elizabeth Tammi – Outrun the Wind, Y, Anc, Q, (inspired by Artemis and Atlanta)

Emily Hauser – For the Most BeautifulA, Anc, 1st, (inspired by the Trojan Women)

Emma Hamm – Tempting Hades, A, Anc, (inspired by Hades and Persephone)

Fiona Benson – Vertigo and Ghost, A, P, (inspired by Zeus)

Francesca Lia Block – Love in the Time of Global Warming, Y, Mod, 1st, (inspired by the Odyssey)

Francesca Lia Block – Psyche in a Dress, Y, Mod,  (inspired by Cupid and Psyche)

Fran Ross – Oreo, A, Mod, (inspired by Theseus)

Glyn Iliffe – King of Ithaca, A, Anc, 1st, (inspired by Odysseus)

Han Kang – The Vegetarian, A, Mod, (inspired by Daphne and Apollo)

Heather Lyons – The Deep End of the Sea, Y, Anc, (inspired by Medusa)

Helen Scott – Daughter of Persephone, A, Mod, 1st, (inspired by Hades, Persephone, and the Underworld)

Hilda Doolittle – Helen in Egypt, A, P, (inspired by Helen)

Holly J. Underhill – The Bone Way, Y, Q, (inspired by Orpheus and Eurydice)

Isabel Greenberg & Imogen Greenberg – AthenaC, G, Anc, (inspired by Athena)

Jean Anouilh – AntigoneA, Anc, (inspired by Antigone)

Jean Menzies – Greek Myths: Meet the heroes, gods, and monsters of Ancient Greece, C, S, G, Anc, (inspired by various)

Jeanette Winterson – Weight, A, Anc, (inspired by Atlas)

Jennifer Saint – Ariadne, A, Anc, (inspired by Ariadne, Theseus, and the Minotaur)

Jesmyn Ward – Salvage the Bones, A, Mod, (inspired by Medea and Jason)

Jessie Burton – Medusa, Y, Anc, (inspired by Medusa)

Jo Walton – The Just City, A, 1st, (inspired by Plato’s Republic)

Josephine Angelini – Starcrossed, Y, Mod, 1st, (inspired by Helen of Troy)

Jules Watson – The White MareA, Anc, 1st, (inspired by Agricola and the Roman invasion of Britain)

Julie Berry – Lovely War, A, Anc, Mod, (inspired by Aphrodite and Ares)

Kaitlin Bevis – Aphrodite, A, Mod, 1st, (inspired by Aphrodite)

Kaitlin Bevis – Persephone, A, Mod, 1st, (inspired by Persephone)

Kamila Shamsi – Home Fire, A, Mod, (inspired by Antigone)

Karen Dudley – Food for the Gods, A, Mod, (inspired by Pelops)

Kate Bernheimer – XO Orpheus: Fifty New Myths, A, S, (various)

Kate Tempest – Hold Your Own, A, P, Mod, Q, (inspired by Tireseus)

Katherine Beutner – Alcestis, A, Anc, Q, (inspired by Alcestis)

Kelly Keaton – Darkness Becomes Her, Y, Mod, 1st, (inspired by Medusa)

Kendare Blake – Antigoddess, Y, 1st, (inspired by the Olympian Gods)

Kyleigh Castronaso – Ode to the Queen, A, Mod, 1st, (various)

Laird Hunt – Neverhome, A, Mod, (inspired by the Odyssey)

Linda Bostrom Knausgaard – The Helios Disaster, A, Mod, (inspired by Athena & Zeus)

Liz Lochhead – Medea, A, Anc, (inspired by Medea)

Liz Lochhead – Thebans, A, Anc, (inspired by Oedipus, Jocasta and Antigone)

Lucy  Coats – Beasts of Olympus, C, Anc, 1st, (various)

Madeline Miller – The Song of Achilles, A, Anc, Q, (inspired by Achilles and Patrocolus)

Madeline Miller – Circe, A, Anc, (inspired by Circe)

Manda Scott – Boudica: Dreaming the Eagle, A, Anc, 1st, (inspired by Boudica)

Margaret Atwood – The Penelopiad, A, Anc, A, Anc,(inspired by Penelope and Odysseus)

Margaret George – Helen of Troy, A, Anc, (inspired by Helen of Troy)

Marie Phillips – Gods Behaving BadlyA, Mod, (inspired by the Olympians)

Martin Miller – The Goddess of Buttercups and Daisies, A, Anc, (inspired by Aristophanes)

Mary Renault – The King Must Die, A, Anc, 1st, (inspired by Theseus)

Mary Renault – Fire From Heaven, A, Anc, 1st, Q, (inspired by Alexander the Great)

Mary Shelley – Frankenstein, A, Mod, (inspired by Prometheus)

Mary Tighe – PsycheA, P, (inspired by Cupid and Psyche)

Matt Fraction – ODY-CA, Mod, G, 1st, (inspired by the Odyssey)

Maz Evans – Who Let the Gods OutC, Mod, 1st, (various)

Meg Cabot – AbandonY, Anc, 1st, (inspired by Persephone and Hades)

Michael Hughes – CountryA, Mod, (inspired by the Iliad)

Molly Ringle – Persephone’s Orchard, A, Mod, 1st, (inspired by Persephone and Hades)

Naomi Mitchison – The Blood of the Martyrs, A, Anc, (inspired by the reign of the emperor Nero)

Naomi Mitchison – Black SpartaA, Anc, S, (inspired by Sparta)

Natalie Haynes – The Children of Jocasta, A, Anc, (inspired by Jocasta and Ismene)

Natalie Haynes – A Thousand  Ships, A, Anc, (inspired by the Trojan War)

Nina Kossman – Gods and Mortals, A, P, (various)

Pat Barker – The Silence of the Girls, A, Anc, (inspired by the Trojan Women)

Pat Barker – The Women of Troy, A, Anc, (inspired by the Trojan Women)

Patrick Dillon – IthacaA, Anc, (inspired by Telemachus)

Pauline Gedge, The Eagle and the Raven, A, Anc, (inspired by Boudicca)

P. C. Cast, Goddess of Spring, A, Mod, (inspired by Demeter, Persephone and Hades)

P. C. Cast, Goddess of Troy, A, Mod, (inspired by the Trojan War)

Penelope Haines, Helen Had a Sister, A, Anc, (inspired by Clytemnestra)

Philip Freeman – Oh My GodsA, Mod, S, (various)

Rene Goscinny – Asterix the Gaul, C, Anc, G, 1st, (various)

Rick Riordan – Percy Jackson and the Lightning Theif, C, Mod, 1st, (various)

Rick Riordan – The Hidden Oracle, C, Mod, 1st, (inspired by Apollo)

Rick Riordan – Heroes of Olympus, C, Mod, 1st, (various)

Robert Graves – Greek Myths, A, S, Anc, (various)

Rosemary Sutcliff – The Eagle of the NinthC, Anc, (inspired by the Roman Invasion of Britain)

Salley Vickers – Where Three Roads Meet, A, Anc, Mod, (inspired by Oedipus)

Sarah Diemer – A Dark Wife Y, Anc, Q, (inspired by Persephone and Hades)

Sarah J. Maas – A Court of Mist and Fury, Y, (inspired by Persephone and Hades)

Sarah McGarry – All Our Pretty Songs, YMod, 1st, Q, (inspired by Orpheus and Eurydice)

Sarah Ruhl – Eurydice, A, Mod, (inspired by Orpheus and Eurydice)

Sharma Shields – The Cassandra, A, Mod, (inspired by Cassandra)

Shelby Eileen – Goddess of the Hunt, A, P, Q, (inspired by Artemis)

Simon Armitage – The Last Days of Troy, A, Anc, (inspired by the Trojan Horse)

Stephanie Meyer – Midnight Sun, Y, Mod, (inspired by Hades and Persephone)

Stephen Fry – Mythos, A, S, Anc, (various)

Stephen Fry – Heroes, A, S, Anc, (various)

Tracy Barrett – Dark of the Moon, Y, Anc, (inspired by Theseus and Ariadne)

Tera Lynn Childs – Sweet Venom, Y, Mod, 1st, (inspired by Medusa)

Ursula K. Le Guin – Lavinia, A, Anc, (inspired by Troy)

Ursule Molinaro – The Autobiography of Cassandra, A, Anc, (inspired by Cassandra and the Trojan War)

Victor Pelevin – The Helmet of Horror, A, Mod, (inspired by Theseus and the Minotaur)

Wendy Higgins – Soul in Darkness, A, Anc, (inspired by Cupid and Psyche)

Will Boast – Daphne, A, Mod, (inspired by Daphne and Apollo)

William Shakespeare – Romeo and Juliet, A,  Mod, (inspired by Pyramus and Thisbe)

William Shakespeare – Titus AndronicusA, Anc, (inspired by Tereus and Philomela)

William Shakespeare – Troilus and CressidaA, Anc, (inspired by Troy)

Yoon Ha Lee – Variations on an Apple, A, Anc, Q, (inspired by the Iliad)

Zachary Mason – The Lost Books of the Odyssey, A, Anc, (inspired by the Odyssey)

Zachary Mason – MetamorphicaA, S, (inspired by Ovid’s Metamorphosis)

Check out my personal collection here:

And if you are interested in reading some original Greek & Roman myths watch this video:

4 thoughts on “Classical Myth Retellings

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