Author(s): Peter Ackroyd
Published October 2006 'I cannot wait to bring you to the plain of Troy. To show you the place where Hector and Achilles fought. To show you the palace of Priam. And the walls where the Trojan women watched their warriors in battle with the invader. It will stir your blood, Sophia.' Sophia Chrysanthis is only 16 when the German archaeologist Herr Obermann comes wooing: he wants a Greek bride who knows her Homer. Sophia passes his test, and soon she is tieing canvas sacking to her legs so that she can kneel on the hard ground in the trench, removing the earth methodically, identifying salient points, lifting out amphorae and bronze vessels without damaging them. 'Archaeology is not a science', Obermann says. 'It is an art.' Obermann is very good at the art of archaeology - perhaps too good at it. The amosphere at Troy is tense and mysterious. Sophia finds herself increasingly baffled by the past ... not only the remote past that Obermann is so keen to share with her in the form of his beloved epics of the Trojan wars, but also his own, recent past - a past that he has chosen to hide from her. But she, too, is very good at the art of archaeology ...
Brilliant historical novel, set during the 19th century at the time that the Bronze Age site of Troy was being excavated. Peter Ackroyd returns to one of his favourite themes: fakes, forgeries and plagiarism.
"Provoking, unsettling, ingenious -- and a delight to read."
.,."skillfully interweaves classical and 19th century stories, employing motifs from both Homer and Charlotte Bronte.... Ackroyd's most exuberant novel for years."
"From the Trade Paperback edition."
Peter Ackroyd is a prize-winning writer of fiction and non fiction. Almost all his novels are historical novels: he has a unique gift for conjuring lives and characters from the past. Hawksmoor won the Guardian fiction prize, and Chatterton (also about forgery) was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. His most recent novels are the bestselling The Clerkenwell Tales and the highly praised The Lambs of London. Peter Ackroyd lives in London, and is the author of the ground-breaking London: The Biography. He has written and presented 3 TV series for the BBC - Dickens (2002), London (2004), The Romantic Poets (2006). He has written brief lives of Chaucer, Turner and Newton, and major biographies of T.S. Eliot, Dickens, Blake, Thomas More and - most recently - Shakespeare. He holds a CBE for services to literature.