A Thing of Beauty
A BBC RADIO 4 BOOK OF THE YEAR
LONGLISTED FOR THE ANGLO-HELLENIC LEAGUE RUNCIMAN AWARD 2022
‘Peter Fiennes’s road trip around Greece [is] engagingly described’ Mary Beard, TLS
‘Fiennes is a brilliant and generous guide through Greece’ Observer
‘A wonderful… really profound meditation on what it means to hope… a gorgeous excursion into Greece and across the centuries on an environmental quest’ BBC Radio 4 Open Book Book of the Year choice by Anita Roy
What do the Greek myths mean to us today?
It’s now a golden age for these tales – they crop up in novels, films and popular culture. But what’s the modern relevance of Theseus, Hera and Pandora? Were these stories ever meant for children? And what’s to be seen now at the places where heroes fought and gods once quarrelled?
Peter Fiennes travels to the sites of some of the most famous Greek myths, on the trail of hope, beauty and a new way of seeing what we have done to our world. Fiennes walks through landscapes – stunning and spoiled – on the trail of dancing activists and Arcadian shepherds, finds the ‘most beautiful beach in Greece’, consults the Oracle, and loses himself in the cities, remote villages and ruins of this storied land.
‘A Thing of Beauty is an immensely pleasurable read. It takes you on an adventure around Greece and the myths that the ancients told there. But what really stayed with me were the reflections on storytelling, joy, and hope. Essential reading for our pandemic and pollution ravaged times.’ — Helen Morales, author of Antigone Rising: The Subversive Power of the Ancient Myths ‘A deeply humane travelogue, a beautifully written book of stories, A Thing of Beauty is a siren song for Greece and a generous and precious gift – a classical education for those of us who are bereft of one.’ — Patrick Barkham, natural history writer and author of Wild Child ‘Fiennes sets out to explore the birthplace of Western civilization, Greece, in search of Hope… It’s a highly personal travelogue…with the historical and modern-day detail that late British travel writer Jan Morris might bring to the task.’ — Booklist, starred review
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