Helen Of Troy: Goddess, Princess, Whore Paperback – 7 Nov 2013
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"The book triumphantly reclaims Helen from some of her traducers. Hughes' portrait is as close to a real, living Helen as we are likely to get" (Financial Times)
"This book is a real tour de force. It combines astonishing erudition and knowledge of the early classical world with a wonderful easy fluency of writing" (John Julius Norwich)
"Evoking in sensuous and gorgeous prose the citadels, the palaces and the luxuries of that long-vanished world... A passionate book" (Sunday Times)
"Fantastic... I have never, ever, read anybody write so well about travels in Greece and going to explore archaeological sites" (Professor Edith Hall Woman's Hour)
"A genuinely exciting historial narrative" (Sunday Telegraph)
A major book about the life and legend of the world's 'most beautiful woman'See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Bringing together her extensive research into Helen and demonstrating that the best historians are polymaths, it is possible to imagine that Hughes left out as much detail as she put into her book. What is in is very well presented and superbly written. The deep understanding of the subject is communicated by a turn of phrase and literary expression that is rarely found today, and all the more valuable when it is.
This book is a treat for greco-philes and lovers of history a-like; it pulls together fact, deduction, inference and supposition, is always credible and completely absorbing. You really should order it - Now!
The book is a dazzling exploration of Bronze Age history and, particularly, the role of women in it which is threaded on a figure who is universally known and relevant today. The trick of imagining and pursuing Helen as a real person gives a cogency, life and focus to a field which might otherwise have little or no appeal to a modern non-academic audience. Furthermore, combining that history with an analysis of how views of Helen have changed and developed over time gives an essential cultural context for the whole exercise. All-in-all, easily one of the best history books I have ever read.
This book is a brave and highly readable attempt to explore the many manifestations of Helen. Hughes certainly does not jump erratically but sets out each chapter clearly, fulfilling her intentions nicely. She would have failed if she stuck to merely the classical Helen, Medieval Helen, prehistoric Helen, or whichever.
Hughes has clearly done plenty of research. Not only is ancient history her specialism, but more importantly she has travelled extensively in researching her passion for the ancient world. The book is full of fascinating anecdotes about her journeys and her trips to the museums and galleries of the world. Her enthusiasm shines through on every page.
The thing that I liked best about this book was the evocative way that Hughes brings the Mycenaean world to life: the sights, smells and sounds. She paints a tantalising picture of how life might have been for a high-born Mycenaean woman.
Worth reading for its insights and simply because it is entertaining.
The book has notes, lots of notes. We get color pictures and graphs. What's this even a timeline? Even a description of abbreviations. Related other works.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A really good, readable book which investigates all sides of the Helen storiesPublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Prof. Hughes brings the Greek Bronze Age and Helen of Troy to life. Enormous erudition underpins but never drags down this completely fascinating and highly readable book. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Graham Hunt
fascinating interesting and scholarly account of the Greek wars and the role of Helen through the ages.This has made history come alive and is so well written and never boringPublished 16 months ago by beth easterby
Bettany builds her view of Helen from various sources. Bettany is quit a good writer and so compelling that it is here Helen(s) that I have come to see as the real one(s). Read morePublished 16 months ago by Bernie
If you're looking for a book on Helen of Troy, then look no further. This is a masterful book, despite the paucity of possible information available on Helen. Read morePublished on 21 May 2014 by C. Ball
I have always enjoyed Bettany Hughes's television programmes and bought this off the back of those. I have read the Illiad, albeit a while back and the Penguin Classics... Read morePublished on 6 May 2014 by Iain Vass
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