Thomas Bulfinch, 1796 - 1867
Born: 15 July 1796, Newton, Massachusetts
Died: 27 May 1867,
The son of architect Charles Bulfinch and his wife was born just in time for Charles to lose his fortune in a housing project that he had designed. The well connected parents were still able to ensure that Thomas was well educated at Boston Latin School, the Phillips Exeter Academy, and Harvard College, and that he was acquainted with the leaders of Boston society. After Harvard (graduated 1814) he held various business jobs, then clerked at Boston Merchants' Bank from 1837 until his death. He detailed the Greek, Roman, and Norse mythology in The Age of Fable in 1855, covered the myths of King Arthur and other English legends in The Age of Chivalry, and published Legends of Charlemagne in 1863, the three volumes that together make up Bulfinch's Mythology. Lived with his parents while they lived, and even after his success started with The Age of Fable he continued at the bank and lived in a boarding house.
Thomas Bulfinch quotes:
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- For Mythology is the handmaid of literature; and literature is one of the best allies of virtue and promoters of happiness. permalink
- Thus we hope to teach mythology not as a study, but as a relaxation from study; to give our work the charm of a story-book, yet by means of it to impart a knowledge of an important branch of education. permalink
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