Stories from Homer

Alfred J. Church was a classical scholar and Latin professor born in 1829. After becoming the headmaster of a grammar school he began rewriting the classics for young people. Church’s Stories from Homer is number 61 on The Hundred Best Books for Children list found in The Book-lover.

Who Should We Then Read? by Jan Bloom denotes the Rev. Alfred John Church, M.A., as a “Top Author”:

He graduated from Oxford and then spent three years as a curate. The next thirty-one years were spent teaching, along with serving as a rector at a church. When Church was 41 years old, he took over as headmaster at a Grammar School. He began to rewrite the classics so that his students would be able to understand and appreciate them. At that time, the classics (truly the classics: literature from the days of Greece and Rome) were available only in college-level texts with small print. Church was credited with bringing the grace, wonder and beauty of the classical age to ordinary people. His sense of humor complemented his distinctive sense of writing, giving both his fiction and his nonfiction sharp imagery and keen action.

Who Should We Then Read

Along with rewriting classics for children, Church wrote many other works including those that cover:

  • Virgil.
  • Beowulf.
  • Faery Queen.
  • Josephus.
  • English history.

Stories from Homer

Stories from Homer includes stories from both the Iliad and the Odyssey in one volume. The stories were illustrated by sculptor and illustrator John Flaxman.

THESE ” Stories ” will, I hope, represent Homer not unfaithfully to readers, old and young, who do not know him in the original; may, perhaps, commend him to some of the younger sort who, having made acquaintance with him do not find this acquaintance tend to love.

We have given by way of illustration some of Flaxman’s famous designs. These we have ventured to colour, hoping that by so doing we should render them more attractive, without transgressing any rule of art. The style of the outlines was suggested by the Etruscan vase painting, and Flaxman himself did some work of a similar kind for Wedgwood. Most of the vase paintings are in black and red, but there is authority for the employment of the buff tint.

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  • Narrate one or two of the tales.
  • Create an author page for Alfred Church (along with the other authors in our series).

Additional Resources

Alfred J. Church
Large list of his works at along with very helpful organization and categorization of his works and prints of some through Yesterday’s Classics.

Author Notebooking Pages {Free Download}
Use this free set to create an author notebook for our 100 Best Books for Children series.

The Hundred Best Books for Children ~ Introduction
The Hundred Best Books for Children

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