A Thousand Ships – Natalie Haynes

A Thousand Ships - Natalie Haynes
A Thousand Ships – Natalie Haynes

I am loving these recent retellings of the Greek Myths from the women’s perspective.

Natalie Haynes’ A Thousand Ships is, not surprisingly, the story of the Trojan War and the siege of Troy, triggered by Helen whose face launched those ships, and Paris – and the golden apple, but primarily for the story of where it came from and the three Goddesses vying for its accolade.

Penelope, relentlessly weaving and unweaving – and – my favourite chapters – writing increasingly exasperated letters to her errant husband-with-wanderlust, the wily Odysseus. Andromache, Cassandra, Hecabe (Hecuba when I was at school), and lesser known women whose passing mentions are fleshed out into, well, flesh and bones.

Fab.

Author page: A Thousand Ships – Natalie Haynes

In The Shadow of the Sword – Tom Holland

In The Shadow of the Sword - Tom Holland
In The Shadow of the Sword – Tom Holland

My first taste of Tom Holland: A hefty hardback about the demise of great empires of the Ancient World, and the religions that existed and came into being during Antiquity.

Very readable, and I particularly enjoyed the Cyberman-like cover art and the Dramatis Personae (à la Lindsey Davis) that’s included at the end.

Author page: In The Shadow of the Sword – Tom Holland

Icemen: A History of the Arctic and its Explorers – Mick Conefrey and Tim Jordan

Icemen: A History of the Arctic and its Explorers - Mick Conefrey and Tim Jordan
Icemen: A History of the Arctic and its Explorers – Mick Conefrey and Tim Jordan

Easy reading chronologically ordered chapters covering the more familiar Artic Explorations including Franklin’s attempt to find the North West Passage and Peary’s claim to have reached the North Pole, and the more unfamiliar such as Andrée’s Artic Expedition by balloon and Amundsen’s by airship, and finishing up with the Artic’s role in World War II and the Cold War.

The book accompanied a BBC2 series and both date from 1998. I can’t find pages for either online.

Abebooks page: Icemen: A History of the Arctic and its Explorers – Mick Conefrey and Tim Jordan