Tuesday 3rd October
Greenside Church, 1b Royal Terrace, Edinburgh, EH7 5AB
We are beyond thrilled to welcome Natalie Haynes - Women's Prize shortlisted-author, comedian, broadcaster, and (according to the Washington Post) rockstar mythologist - back to Edinburgh. This time round, Natalie will be lighting up Greenside Church with a talk on Divine Might: Goddesses in Greek Myth; her follow-up to the bookshop favourite, Pandora's Jar: Women in the Greek Myths.
We meet Athene, who sprang fully formed from her father's head: goddess of war and wisdom, guardian of Athens. We run with Artemis, goddess of hunting and protector of young girls (apart from those she decides she wants as a sacrifice). Here is Aphrodite, goddess of sex and desire - there is no deity more determined and able to make you miserable if you annoy her. And then there's the queen of all the Olympian gods: Hera, Zeus's long-suffering wife, whose jealousy of his dalliances with mortals, nymphs and goddesses lead her to wreak elaborate, vicious revenge on those who have wronged her.
We also meet Demeter, goddess of agriculture and mother of the kidnapped Persephone, we sing the immortal song of the Muses and we warm ourselves with Hestia, goddess of the hearth and sacrificial fire. The Furies carry flames of another kind - black fires of vengeance for those who incur their wrath.
These goddesses are as mighty, revered and destructive as their male counterparts. Isn't it time we looked beyond the columns of a ruined temple to the awesome power within?
About Natalie Haynes
Natalie Haynes is a writer and broadcaster and – according to the Washington Post – a rock star mythologist. Her first novel, The Amber Fury, was published to great acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic, as was The Ancient Guide to Modern Life, her previous book. Her second novel, The Children of Jocasta, was published in 2017. Her retelling of the Trojan War, A Thousand Ships, was published in 2019. It was shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction in 2020. It has been translated into multiple languages. Her most recent non-fiction book, Pandora's Jar: Women in the Greek Myth was published in Oct 2020, and reached number 2 in the New York Times Bestseller chart. Her novel about Medusa, Stone Blind, was published in Sep 2022 and Margaret Atwood liked it. So did Neil Gaiman.