Reference type: Encyclopedia
Authority: Bullfinch's Mythology--as The Age of Fable or Stories of Gods and Heroes by Thomas Bullfinch is commonly called--in its print incarnation has long been considered the authority on mythological tales and characters. This is the online version of that text as maintained by Bob Fisher since 1996. No information was available about Fisher.
Audience relation: The idea that there are no new stories only new incarnations is very true. Science fiction and fantasy writers in particular like to pay homage to the ancient stories of the Greeks and Romans as well as other mythologies. Having a good reference source on hand about these myths is a must for any serious science fiction author.
This site include the complete text of Bullfinch's original and enhances it with the capabilities of an online format such as searching and hyperlinked entries. Additionally, the site links to reviews of other related mythological texts such as Homer's Odyssey and allows for immediate purchase of these works through Barnes and Noble's online store. Finally, the site also links to its sister sites that cover The Age of Chivalry or Legends of King Arthur and Legends of Charlemagne or Romance of the Middle Ages which are Bullfinch's second and third volumes.
This site is incredibly complete. The entire text of Bullfinch's work is online with illustrations and cross-referenced entries via hyperlinks. The text is easy to read black on white with red hyperlinks that turn burgundy when followed. The front page is a little large, listing the entire table of contents, however, it is not cluttered with many graphics and the information is well categorized. Additionally, it offers several methods of access for the user, such as a framed version and a link to the search engine.
Bullfinch's text is always a bit hard to read because of the slightly outdated language, however once one is used to his voice, this is quickly overcome. His text is considered to be the most complete as he covers all the major characters in the pantheon. Additionally, he sites other references to these characters, such as poetry. About the worst fault of this text is its age. Since it was written, there are many other important mythological references that have occurred, however, no one has authored a mythology reference as complete as Bullfinch's so it remains premier.
This online version of the text is a wonderful marriage of form and function. There can be no better source of information on Greek and Roman mythology.