Get Your Free Audiobook

Non-member price: $15.19

After 30 days, Audible is $16.45/mo. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

The Greek myths are among the world's most important cultural building blocks, and they have been retold many times, but rarely do they focus on the remarkable women at the heart of these ancient stories.

Stories of gods and monsters are the mainstay of epic poetry and Greek tragedy, from Homer to Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides, from the Trojan War to Jason and the Argonauts. And still, today, a wealth of novels, plays and films draw their inspiration from stories first told almost 3,000 years ago. But modern tellers of Greek myth have usually been men and have routinely shown little interest in telling women’s stories. And when they do, those women are often painted as monstrous, vengeful or just plain evil. But Pandora - the first woman, who according to legend unloosed chaos upon the world - was not a villain, and even Medea and Phaedra have more nuanced stories than generations of retellings might indicate. 

Now, in Pandora's Jar: Women in the Greek Myths, Natalie Haynes - broadcaster, writer and passionate classicist - redresses this imbalance. Taking Pandora and her jar (the box came later) as the starting point, she puts the women of the Greek myths on equal footing with the menfolk. After millennia of stories telling of gods and men, be they Zeus or Agamemnon, Paris or Odysseus, Oedipus or Jason, the voices that sing in this audiobook are those of Hera, Athena and Artemis, and of Clytemnestra, Jocasta, Eurydice and Penelope.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2020 Natalie Haynes (P)2020 Macmillan Publishers International Ltd

Critic Reviews

"Funny, sharp explications of what these sometimes not-very-nice women were up to, and how they sometimes made idiots of...but read on!" (Margaret Atwood)

"Natalie Haynes is the nation's muse." (Adam Rutherford)

What listeners say about Pandora's Jar

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    20
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    21
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    20
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

An amazing book

This is a beautifully written piece that perfectly challenges normal societal views regarding women in classics. Natale Haynes presents the women in ways, and with so much passion, that you will fall in love with them. The book includes many aspects to reflect upon and after finishing the book, I cannot wait to start it again.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A stunning work of non fiction.

This was not what I expected, it was so much more! I rushed to listen to this straight after reading Haynes’ “A thousand ships” and was pleasantly surprised that this book is much more than a retelling of these classic stories. It is also an intelligent and beautiful feminist insight into these complex and often overlooked characters. The pop culture references throughout were also a welcome addition! A witty and informative work of non-fiction narrated beautifully by the author.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 21-06-2021

Witty with new perspectives on myths that we share

I simply loved listening to this book with its new perspectives on the (our) ancient mythological heroes and heroines. The enthusiasm of the author who is also the narrator is palpable but also a challenge. You need to be focused to listen to this book but it is never boring and really worth the effort. I will listen and listen again to it and so look forward to be able to see some of the artwork that is mentioned and referred to. If travelling will be possible again. The author spent her lockdown well!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Paul
  • Paul
  • 21-10-2020

Superb

I adored this. As a fan of A Thousand Ships and Stands Up For the Classics this encapsulates what makes both of them great. Told with heart, Haynes’ passion and enthusiasm are tangible and its infectious. Heartbreaking at points and funny at others. Can’t stop recommending it to people.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Holly
  • Holly
  • 21-07-2021

absolute GEM!

I loved this book so much! Incredibly engaging reading from the author, so funny and thought provoking, and offers insights that surprised me and really made me think; do we *really* know the full story about the representations of women in mythology? Cannot recommend enough! :)

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 19-07-2021

Story superb, author reading superb.

Fantastic weaving of myths, which the author, thankfully, dives pretty deep into their myriad roots—would have loved more about Athena and Medusa and their link to the Libyan Amazon triple headed goddess Neith—but perhaps next time ;) The contextualising and calling the myths forward into their modern iterations for a deeper understanding of our western culture is *chef’s kiss* Always a joy when an author reads their texts with a clear love of the work and a microphone presence. Recommended

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amy Williams
  • Amy Williams
  • 16-06-2021

Fantastic!

I absolutely adored this book! A much needed perspective to any lover of Greek Mythology! Thought provoking and brilliant.

I particularly enjoyed the chapter on Medusa. I had never considered her anything other than a monster.

have recommended this book to all my mythology nerds.

Natalie's reading of the book is great.

I'm so pleased this book exists!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Philip
  • Philip
  • 16-06-2021

Fascinating and brilliant

I’m not sure how I found this book but I’m very glad I did. An incredibly interesting take on stories we all think we know inside and out. Greek myths focused on the women who feature in them and a re-examination of how we’ve come to see them in today’s world. Also, excellently read by the author Natalie Haynes who does it justice in a way only possible by someone who is deeply knowledgeable and engrossed in the material. Get this book; you’ll be glad you did

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Wowbagger_The_Third
  • Wowbagger_The_Third
  • 28-05-2021

Really enjoyed this

I’ve read/ listened to some of Natalie Haynes fiction writing and felt that whilst it was enjoyable it wasn’t quite working for me. This was so much better, I loved it, I found it thought provoking and insightful.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Miss T.
  • Miss T.
  • 16-04-2021

Lifting the lid on female characters

Myth-busting by going back to the original myth texts, examining and comparing them, bringing in other sources such as ancient vase paintings - it feels like fresh light on these characters, delving into who they really were, their motivations, the contexts they were dealing with and the cultures of their time. Accessible and thorough. I appreciate the author Natalie Haynes reading the work herself, too; this works well for her style and the points she is conveying.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Donna Holloway
  • Donna Holloway
  • 29-03-2021

Incredibly interesting and thought provoking

An absolutely fantastic, refreshing review of women presented in Greek myth, with underlying themes that remain relevant to this day.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Sapphira
  • Sapphira
  • 28-03-2021

Brilliant, feminist myths!

The author was excellent at writing and narrating, and I loved every minute of this book. By centring women in myths, Haynes ensures the whole story is told. My only complaint is that it wasn't long enough for me! 😊

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.