If no other knowledge deserves to be called useful but that which helps to enlarge our possessions or our status in society, then mythology has no claim to the appellation. But if that which make us happier and better can be called useful, then we claim that epithet for our subject. Mythology is the handmaid of literature; and literature is one of the best allies of virtue and promoters of happiness.
Without a knowledge of mythology much of the elegant literature of our English Language cannot be understood or appreciated. When the poet Byron calls Rome"the Niobe of nations, or says of Venice, "She looks a Sea-Cybele fresh from the ocean," he calls up to mind of one familiar with the subject illustrations more vivid and striking than the pen could furnish, but which are lost to the reader ignorant of mythology.
But how is mythology to be taught to one who does not learn it through the medium of the languages of Greece and Rome? For a reader to devote a in debt study of learning which wholly relates to mythological gods and obsolete worlds is not to be expected in this year of 2021. The time of the young is claimed by so many sciences of facts and things that little study can be spared for a set treatises on a science of mere myth. But may the requisite knowledge of mythology be acquired by reading the ancient poets translations and the Black Water Mist series? Maybe, but the mythological field is too extensive for a preparatory course; and these translations and my books do require some previous knowledge of mythology to make them intelligible.
My book series Black Water Mist is an attempt to solve this problem, by my re-telling of the stories of mythology in such a manner as to make them a source of entertainment. I have endeavored to tell them correctly, according to the ancient authorities, so that you the reader may not be at a loss to recognize the references. Thus, I hope to teach mythology not as a study, but as a relaxation from study; to give my work the charm of a story-book, yet by means of it to impart a knowledge of an important study of your education.
I trust my young readers will find my books a source of entertainment; those more advanced in the study of mythology, a useful companion in their reading; those who travel, and visit museums and galleries of art, an interpreter of paintings and sculptures; those who mingle in cultivated society a key to allusions which are occasionally made; and last of all, those advanced in life's pleasure, a guide for retracing a path of literature which leads them to the days of their childhood, and revives at every step the associations of the morning of life.