Daphne Transformed into a Laurel. Illustration from “Crown of Leaves”

About Crown of Leaves 

The  tales retold in this book are  based on myths  from Ovid’s Metamorphoses. All three of these stories share an arboreal theme.

The nymph Daphne, fleeing the unwelcome advances of the god Apollo, is transformed into a laurel tree.  Baucis and Philemon, an  elderly couple who honor  the disguised Olympian gods Jupiter and Mercury in their home,  are changed at the moment of their deaths into two entwined trees, linden and oak.  In the central tale  Erisychthon, an arrogant  and irreverent king,  commits a  sacrilege when he fells an oak tree sacred to Ceres, and is duly punished. In these stories of survival and transformation,  there is also progression from the life of the individual to that of the greater community.

 

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Cover, Crown of Leaves, New Edition

 

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