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The Mighty Dead

The Mighty Dead
Author: Adam Nicolson
Publisher: William Collins
ISBN: 0007335539
Pages: 336
Year: 2015-02-26
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Where does Homer come from? And why does Homer matter? His epic poems of war and suffering can still speak to us of the role of destiny in life, of cruelty, of humanity and its frailty, but why they do is a mystery. How can we be so intimate with something so distant? This is a genre-defying book of vast ambition which takes the reader on a deeply profound, tender journey through Adam Nicolson's love of Homer and why he believes this great ancient poet still matters to us all in our search to understand what it is to be human, to love, to lose, to grow old and to die. Nicolson is one of the greatest writers of landscape and sea -- and in this book he takes his readers to places on the Aegean shores forever haunted by their Homeric heroes, to a disputatious dinner in 19th-century-France; to Keats and his travels in the "realms of gold"; memories of setting sail from a Scottish beach to face the vengeful sea and navigating storms off the coast of Ireland; to Sicily awash with wild flowers, to Bosnia where oral poetry still thrives; to Syria where he is forced to face his own mortality; to the deserted, irradiated steppes of Chernobyl, where Homeric warriors still lie unexcavated under the tumuli. This is a world of springs and drought, seas and cities, all sewn together by the poems themselves, and their great metaphors of life and suffering. The book is driven by a desire to find the source of Homer's directness and to understand why Homer is still so present and so relevant to us all some 3,700 years after the poems were composed. On every page, the book offers reflections on relationships between fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, on the violence of warriors and the deep-held desires of home-makers, of peace and war, youth and old-age. Like Homer himself, it is a book haunted by transience, by the way memory drifts in the face of time. It is a book that will bring each reader face to face with the meaning of existence in a text as accessible as it is full of surprises.

Why Homer Matters

Why Homer Matters
Author: Adam Nicolson
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
ISBN: 1627791809
Pages: 320
Year: 2014-11-18
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"Adam Nicolson writes popular books as popular books used to be, a breeze rather than a scholarly sweat, but humanely erudite, elegantly written, passionately felt...and his excitement is contagious."—James Wood, The New Yorker Adam Nicolson sees the Iliad and the Odyssey as the foundation myths of Greek—and our—consciousness, collapsing the passage of 4,000 years and making the distant past of the Mediterranean world as immediate to us as the events of our own time. Why Homer Matters is a magical journey of discovery across wide stretches of the past, sewn together by the poems themselves and their metaphors of life and trouble. Homer's poems occupy, as Adam Nicolson writes "a third space" in the way we relate to the past: not as memory, which lasts no more than three generations, nor as the objective accounts of history, but as epic, invented after memory but before history, poetry which aims "to bind the wounds that time inflicts." The Homeric poems are among the oldest stories we have, drawing on deep roots in the Eurasian steppes beyond the Black Sea, but emerging at a time around 2000 B.C. when the people who would become the Greeks came south and both clashed and fused with the more sophisticated inhabitants of the Eastern Mediterranean. The poems, which ask the eternal questions about the individual and the community, honor and service, love and war, tell us how we became who we are.

The Cambridge Companion to Homer

The Cambridge Companion to Homer
Author: Robert Fowler
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521012465
Pages: 419
Year: 2004-10-14
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A team of experts discuss Homer's "Iliad" and "Odyssey," exploring their background and composition and their reception to the present day.

The Gods of Olympus

The Gods of Olympus
Author: Barbara Graziosi
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 0805091572
Pages: 304
Year: 2014-03-11
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Chronicles the transformations of the Greek gods throughout history, evaluating their changing characters, stories and symbolic relevance in a variety of cultures spanning the ancient world through the Renaissance era. 35,000 first printing.

The Seabird’s Cry: The Lives and Loves of Puffins, Gannets and Other Ocean Voyagers

The Seabird’s Cry: The Lives and Loves of Puffins, Gannets and Other Ocean Voyagers
Author: Adam Nicolson
Publisher: HarperCollins UK
ISBN: 0008165718
Pages: 416
Year: 2017-06-01
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The full story of seabirds from one of the greatest nature writers. The book looks at the pattern of their lives, their habitats, the threats they face and the passions they inspire – beautifully illustrated by artist Kate Boxer. SHORTLISTED FOR THE RICHARD JEFFERIES SOCIETY AWARD FOR NATURE WRITING 2017

The Return of Ulysses

The Return of Ulysses
Author: Edith Hall
Publisher: I.B.Tauris
ISBN: 0857718304
Pages: 256
Year: 2008-01-30
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Whether they focus on the bewitching song of the Sirens, his cunning escape from the cave of the terrifying one-eyed Cyclops, or the vengeful slaying of the suitors of his beautiful wife Penelope, the stirring adventures of Ulysses/Odysseus are amongst the most durable in human culture. The picaresque return of the wandering pirate-king is one of the most popular texts of all time, crossing East-West divides and inspiring poets and film-makers worldwide. But why, over three thousand years, has the Odyssey's appeal proved so remarkably resilient and long-lasting? _x000D_ _x000D_ In her much-praised book Edith Hall explains the enduring fascination of Homer's epic in terms of its extraordinary susceptibility to adaptation. Not only has the story reflected a myriad of different agendas, but - from the tragedies of classical Athens to modern detective fiction, film, travelogue and opera - it has seemed perhaps uniquely fertile in generating new artistic forms. Cultural texts as diverse as Joyce’s Ulysses, Suzanne Vega's Calypso, Monteverdi's Il Ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria, the Coen Brothers' O Brother Where Art Thou?, Daniel Vigne’s Le Retour de Martin Guerre and Anthony Minghella’s Cold Mountain all show that Odysseus is truly a versatile hero. His travels across the wine-dark Aegean are journeys not just into the mind of one of the most brilliantly creative of all the ancient Greek writers. They are as much a voyage beyond the boundaries of a narrative which can plausibly lay claim to being the quintessential global phenomenon.


Author: Barbara Graziosi, Johannes Haubold
Publisher: A&C Black
ISBN: 0715632825
Pages: 176
Year: 2005-03-10
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Offers interpretations of the main aspects of Homeric epic: the gods and fate, gender and society, death, fame, and poetry

The Last Days of Troy

The Last Days of Troy
Author: Simon Armitage
Publisher: Faber & Faber
ISBN: 0571315119
Pages: 128
Year: 2014-04-29
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Simon Armitage is rightly celebrated as one of the country's most original and engaging poets; but he is also an adaptor and translator of some of our most important epics, such as Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, The Death of King Arthur and Homer's Odyssey. The latter, originally a commission for BBC Radio, rendered the classical tale with all the flare, wit and engagement that we have come to expect from this most distinctive of contemporary authors, and in so doing brought Odysseus's return from the Trojan War memorably to life. The Last Days of Troy, a prequel of kinds, tells the tale of the Trojan War itself in a vivid new dramatic adaptation that is published to coincide with the Royal Exchange's stage performance in April 2014.


Author: Elton TE Baker, Joel Christensen
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
ISBN: 178074238X
Pages: 230
Year: 2013-06-01
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Widely revered as the father of Western literature, Homer was the author of The Iliad and The Odyssey, the epic poems which immortalized such names as Cyclops, Menelaus, and Achilles, and inspired such films as the Brad Pitt blockbuster Troy. In this vivid introduction, Elton Barker and Joel Christensen celebrate the complexity, innovation and sheer excitement of Homer’s two great works, and investigate the controversy surrounding the man behind the myths — asking who he was and whether he even existed. From soap operas to Salman Rushdie, the authors also highlight just how much we owe Homer and why he has been so influential. Perfect for new readers of the great poet but full of insights that will delight Homeric experts, it will inspire you to discover (or rediscover) his epic masterpieces first-hand.

Rediscovering Homer

Rediscovering Homer
Author: Andrew Dalby
Publisher: W W Norton & Company Incorporated
ISBN: 0393330192
Pages: 266
Year: 2007
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A literary portrait of the epic songwriter and poet traces the historical origins of the Odyssey and the Iliad, describing the culture that shaped their first-generation audiences while exploring theories about how both poems were written by a single, female poet. Reprint.

Under Another Sky: Journeys in Roman Britain

Under Another Sky: Journeys in Roman Britain
Author: Charlotte Higgins
Publisher: The Overlook Press
ISBN: 1468312367
Pages: 304
Year: 2015-08-04
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Shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize, the captivating and haunting exploration of the remnants of an empire What does Roman Britain mean to us now? How were its physical remains rediscovered and made sense of? How has it been reimagined, in story and song and verse? Sometimes on foot, sometimes in a magnificent, if not entirely reliable, VW camper van, Charlotte Higgins sets out to explore the ancient monuments of Roman Britain. She explores the land that was once Rome’s northernmost territory and how it has changed since the years after the empire fell. Under Another Sky invites us to see the British landscape, and British history, in an entirely fresh way: as indelibly marked by how the Romans first imagined and wrote, these strange and exotic islands, perched on the edge of the known world, into existence.

Freak the Mighty

Freak the Mighty
Author: Rodman Philbrick
Publisher: Usborne Publishing Ltd
ISBN: 1409591050
Pages: 208
Year: 2015-04-01
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Max is used to being called Stupid. And he is used to everyone being scared of him. On account of his size and looking like his dad. Kevin is used to being called Dwarf. On account of his size and being some cripple kid. But greatness comes in all sizes, and together Max and Kevin become Freak The Mighty and walk high above the world. An inspiring, heartbreaking, multi-award winning international bestseller.


Author: Jasper Griffin
Publisher: Bristol Classical Press
ISBN: 1853996254
Pages: 120
Year: 2001-11-15
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"The Iliad" and "The Odyssey" stand at the very beginning of Greek literature. Much has been written about their origins and authorship, but Jasper Griffin, although he touches briefly on those questions, is here concerned with the ideas of the poems, which have had such an incalculable influence on the ideas of the West. He shows that each of the two epics has its own coherent and suggestive view of the world and of man's place in it.

God's Secretaries

God's Secretaries
Author: Adam Nicolson
Publisher: Zondervan
ISBN: 0060838736
Pages: 336
Year: 2005-08-02
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A network of complex currents flowed across Jacobean England. This was the England of Shakespeare, Jonson, and Bacon; the era of the Gunpowder Plot and the worst outbreak of the plague. Jacobean England was both more godly and less godly than the country had ever been, and the entire culture was drawn taut between these polarities. This was the world that created the King James Bible. It is the greatest work of English prose ever written, and it is no coincidence that the translation was made at the moment "Englishness," specifically the English language itself, had come into its first passionate maturity. The English of Jacobean England has a more encompassing idea of its own scope than any form of the language before or since. It drips with potency and sensitivity. The age, with all its conflicts, explains the book. This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.

Regarding Penelope

Regarding Penelope
Author: Nancy Felson
ISBN: 0806129611
Pages: 215
Year: 1997-01
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A coy tease, enchantress, adulteress, irresponsible mother, hard-hearted wife -- such are the possible images of Penelope that Homer playfully presents to listeners and readers of the Odyssey. His narration ultimately contradicts or fails to confirm these images, however, leaving Penelope as the paragon of the faithful wife. In Regarding Penelope, Felson first considers Penelope as the object of male gazes and as a subject acting from her own desire, and then develops the notion of "possible plots" as structures in the poem that coexist with the plots Penelope actually plays out. She then argues that Homer's manipulation of Penelope's character maintains the narrative fluidity and the dynamics of the Odyssey, and she reveals how, in oral performance, the poet teases and captivates his audience in the same way that Penelope and Odysseus entrap each other in their courtship dance.

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