This week’s spotlight on Fab Female Friday is a scholar and one of the foremost women Classicists. (That’s one who has studied the Greek/Roman Greats like Sophocles, Euripides, Aeschylus, Ovid, and Homer.) (And you think your thoughts are deep?!)
Her book, Mythology, is never far from my side. (Actually, I have more than 10 copies–the large print font being the preferred edition) I rifled through my well-worn, marked-up pages while writing the Merkabah Series, as well as referring to it for my historical fiction, The Emperor’s Assassin.
Edith Hamilton was born August 12, 1867 in Germany to a wealthy and educated family. She grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana where Dad home schooled his 3 daughters in Latin, Greek, French, and German.
As befit her status, Dad sent her to Miss Porter’s Finishing School, where the headmistress believed young ladies should NOT go on to college. Not thwarted by inferior college preparation, Edith took a year to study before taking the rigorous Bryn Mawr entrance exams.
After earning her B.A and M.A. she attended the University of Leipzig. Here, she was told she could listen to the lectures but NOT participate in any discussions! University of Munich was not much better, and Edith never earned her doctoral degree.
In 1896, she returned to the states, securing a position as head mistress at Bryn Mawr’s school for Girls in Baltimore, notable because it was the first college prep school for girls in the US.
The Greek Way was published in 1930 when she was 62 yrs-old.
According to Doris Fielding Reid, her lifelong partner, Edith enjoyed reading murder mysteries for pleasure!
In 1957, King Paul of Greece named her an honorary citizen of Athens!
Edith died on May 31, 1963 in Washington DC.
Edith Hamilton: Scholar. Head mistress. Author. Classicist.
Forget TV: Pick up a copy of Mythology and delight in the misadventures of the most immortal heroes of our time!