Here's an update to Appendix N, including four books that provided inspiration while I was writing The Wreck of the Skylark.
Title: Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes
Author: Edith Hamilton
Publisher and Date: Mentor, 1990
When it comes to reading an overview of Greek mythology, this little book is hard to beat. It covers lots and lots of stories, telling them without any unneeded embellishment, and has some genealogical charts along with a comprehensive index. It also fits nicely in a cargo pocket, if you have one.
Title: Myths of the Norsemen: From the Eddas and Sagas
Author: H.A. Guerber
Publisher and Date: Dover, 1992
This book, too, provides a thorough overview of the stories from Nordic mythology, and it adds black-and-white copies of notable paintings depicting its subjects. The fact that it was first published in 1909 means that it sometimes seems old-fashioned in how it tells tales. One also wonders what discoveries involving these topics have been made in more than a century, and thus what new details might be missing.
Title: The Terror Before Trafalgar: Nelson, Napoleon and the Secret War
Author: Tom Pocock
Publisher and Date: W. W. Norton, 2003
This book focuses, as the title implies, on the part of the Napoleonic Wars leading up to the defeat of the French off Cape Trafalgar by British forces including Lord Admiral Horation Nelson. It includes information about Robert Fulton, the American inventor who worked on new technologies such as a submarine and torpedoes, offering to sell them to whichever side would fund his research and development. This was an enjoyable read.
Title: Mirage: Napoleon's Scientists and the Unveiling of Egypt
Author: Nina Burleigh
Publisher and Date: Harper, 2007
Here's another title that's pretty self-explanatory. When Napoleon sent troops to invade Egypt, he also sent along a group of scientists called savants. There task was to investigate the natural and cultural wonders of Egypt, including the many tombs and temples with their enigmatic artwork. They made numerous important discoveries—especially in finding the Rosetta Stone—while at the same time committing many of the misdeeds common among colonizing outsiders. This was another good read.