"Overall, Maguire′s book is a remarkably broad literary study of the complex and recurring figure of Helen of Troy. Her work is both comprehensive and detailed, covering a huge body of material both ancient and modern." (International Journal of the Classical Tradition, 2011) "In conclusion, this an important work, especially praiseworthy for its wide–ranging critical perspectives and admirable depth of information, and above all for its all–round literary explorations. It is also a very enjoyable read." (Bryn Mawr Classical Review, 25 March 2011) "It is an important work in the broad area of Classical Reception and it is aimed at both specialists and the general reader; and it is quite remarkable for the vast variety of information, sources and genres surveyed and for the wealth of secondary literature and critical approaches deployed." (Bmcreview, 7 March 2011) "Maguire′s book is an unusually effective study of something often invoked in an airy sort of way but difficult to represent concretely and cogently: literature and related arts as an ongoing and continuously motivated enterprise, sometimes almost collective in its workings across great stretches of time." ( Translation & Literature , 2010)"M.′s survey is impressively broad in scope ... .An impressive achievement." ( The Classical Journal , February 2010) "Erudite and entertaining ... .We are certainly better equipped to understand the phenomenon of such a mysterious narrative lacuna by the end of Maguire′s inspirational book." ( The Times Literary Supplement , November 2009) “Combining wit, learning, and insight, Maguire offers delightful reading both for the specialist and for the serious general reader." ( Library Journal , May 2009)
From the Back Cover
Helen of Troy: From Homer to Hollywood is a comprehensive examination of the ways in which Helen′s story has been told and re–told from the ancient world to the present day. In this wide–ranging literary biography, Laurie Maguire analyzes ongoing debates about Helen′s sexual culpability, as seen through the prism of society′s evolving attitudes to issues such as beauty and rape. The aesthetic and narrative difficulties that ensue when literature translates myth are also considered, yet through it all, we see how Helen of Troy′s contradictory legacy has transcended the ages and endured in literature. Works by Homer, Euripides, Chaucer, Shakespeare and others are explored, as well as Helen′s resurgent popularity in a surprising variety of modern novels, plays, and films. In an engaging and original new work filled with scholarly insights, Helen of Troy: From Homer to Hollywood takes readers on an epic voyage into the literary representations of a woman who has wielded a great influence on Western cultural consciousness for more than three millennia.