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The Cyclades [Paperback]

John Freely
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

31 Mar 2006
The Cyclades are the quintessential Greek isles, renowned for the beauty of their seascapes, their historical monuments and a unique way of life deeply rooted in the remote past of the Aegean. Over the course of more than 7,000 years the Cyclades have seen a succession of civilizations, the earliest of them perpetuated in legends such as that of Atlantis, which has been identified with volcanic Santorini. The islands are arrayed around their sacred centre on Delos, where Leto was said to have given birth to the divine twins Apollo and Artemis, children of Zeus. Dionysos was born on olive-embowered Naxos, where he fell in love with Ariadne, and myths relate that Poseidon was the protector of Tinos, whose mid-summer festival of the Virgin is celebrated with the folk-dances and songs for which the Cyclades are famous. In this comprehensive guide to the Cyclades, John Freely describes the immemorial past and timeless present of these enchanting islands, which still await discovery.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: I.B.Tauris; First Paperback Edition edition (31 Mar 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845111605
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845111601
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 13.1 x 1.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 168,178 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"A charming and informative companion for anyone exploring these enchanting islands." Andrew Steed, Stanfords Maps and Travel Books PRAISE FOR JOHN FREELY'S OTHER WORKS The Western Shores of Turkey: Discovering the Aegean and Mediterranean Coasts '...Enchanting guide...a work of genuine scholarship, lightly worn and charmingly conveyed. I fell in love with the book and stayed enamoured until the final page.' Paul Bailey, The Sunday Times '...the record of a journey undertaken by a man effortlessly able to convey in depth the meaning of what he sees.' Marlena Frick, Scotsman, Edinburgh '...John Freely's magnificent walking guide to the city.' - Anthony Sattin, Book of the Week, Sunday Times Strolling Through Istanbul '...a classic. The best travel guide to Istanbul'The Times Inside the Seraglio: Private Lives of the Sultans in Istanbul 'Freely provides a fascinating, easy-to-follow overview, beautifully researched and riveting in its detail.' - Christopher Fowler, Independent on Sunday 'A richly-coloured, highly entertaining book that I wished I'd had to hand when I strolled around the Topkapi.' - Lawrence James, The Times Istanbul: The Imperial City 'This is the handiest single volume to take with you as you explore this most intriguing of cities...' - Robert Carver, Scotsman 'Freely abounds in colourful details...' Philip Mansel, Independent 'This study uncovers nuggets of information while having the charm of The Thousand and One Nights.' Tabasim Hussain, Literary Review 'If you're thinking of paying Istanbul a visit, don't go without reading this book from cover to cover at least twice.'- Arminta Wallace, Irish Times The Lost Messiah: In Search of Sabbatei Sevi 'Everything in this book is astonishing...' The Mail on Sunday 'Freely reveals a superb eye for the telling detail...This is an intriguing book.' Independent on Sunday 'Freely's brilliantly researched tale transports the reader through a host of wonderfully arcane locations.' - The Independent 'Freely's unobtrusive, scholarly tone in this guide to the rich culture of the islands complements his perceptive reflections on contemporary island life.' Sunday Telegraph Review, 2nd April 2006

About the Author

John Freely was born in New York and joined the US Navy at the age of seventeen, serving with a commando unit in Burma and China during the last years of World War II. He has lived in New York, Boston, London, Athens and Istanbul and has written over thirty travel books and guides, most of them about Greece and Turkey. He is author of The Western Shores of Turkey (Tauris Parke Paperbacks), Strolling Through Athens (also Tauris Parke Paperbacks) and the bestselling Strolling Through Istanbul.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars traveller 7 Mar 2006
By A Customer
I have been looking for a guide to the Cyclades for years and finally, here it is - by the wonderful travel writer, John Freely. This is a beautifully-written, informative and fascinating account of these amazing islands. I highly recommend it to anyone who is travelling to the Cyclades or is interested in their incredible past and present.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not what I was expecting 31 July 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was very disappointed with this book on the Cyclades. It is really aimed at historians, as it gives a very detailed history of all the Islands. There is far too much information for the average person to absorb and all I really required was a guide book to the Islands, as I am travelling to 3 lesser known ones on holiday.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Cyclades 10 Nov 2009
I made a mistake when I ordered this book, I should have taken more notice of the reviews. This book may be a delight for history scholars but not for me. It is quite simply a history book going back centuries whilst I was looking for an up to date travel book to help me plan next years month long vacation in the Cyclades.
I`m sure that John Freely is well respected by lovers of history, but I think it should be made clearer in the description that this is not a travel guide.
James Ingham.The Cyclades
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Amazon.com: 2.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A useful read, but not a guide 17 July 2006
By Christopher O'Connell - Published on Amazon.com
We're just back from a sailing vacation in the Cyclades, and brought this book along for reference. The historical perspective that the author carefully provides, is the most useful aspect of the book. After reading the book, and visiting the land, it is clear that many aspects of Ancient Greece are still alive! Visiting today and observing the ruins, one feels like a mere speck in time.

The only criticism I have, is that some of the information in the book is out of date. For example, the Chora in Kea was not clean, but somewhat dirty and depressed, and felt chronologically displaced. So we're told, it turns out that Kea was a Communist enclave during the 1960's, and we even observed the word "Castro" written in Greek and engraved in large stone letters on a walkway.

I recommend the book as an interesting historical read, but not as a practical guide. At least for sailing, the most popular text is "Greek Waters Pilot" by Rod Heikell. It also contains good general information about Greece and its ports.
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not a travel guide 6 Feb 2010
By Diane G. Simon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Disappointing. Thought it would be a tour guide and it was historical in nature. Okay - but not what I was looking for.
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