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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