I discovered them back in the zips, when Diana Birchall recommended Frances Hodgson Burnett’s adult novel, The Shuttle. In fact Diana recommended the book before Persephone published it.
I have read many Persephone titles since, and recently enjoyed a Tea and Tattle podcast in which Sophie and Miranda discuss their favorite Persephone books. The discussion is very calming: I guarantee your blood pressure will go down!
WE INVITE YOU TO JOIN THE VIRGIL READALONG. It may not sound sexy, but David Ferry’s new translation of Virgil’s Aeneid is so brilliant that Jen B. (an old friend from AOL) and I are organizing a Virgil readalong. Realistically, we hope that one, or possibly two may sign up to join us! In January we will discuss Books 1, 2, 4, and 6, and in February discuss two or three of the last six books (to be announced).
WHY SHOULD YOU READ OR REREAD IT? Virgil’s epic has awed and influenced generations of readers, including Dante, Christopher Marlowe, Milton, Purcell, George Eliot, Thomas Hardy, Willa Cather, T. S. Eliot, and Margaret Drabble. Some read the Aeneid as a celebration of empire, others (myself included) as an anti-war poem. Virgil treats love and war, the horrifying fall of Troy at the end of a 10-year war, the reluctance of the hero, Aeneas, to take charge of the survivors and try desperately to find them a homeland, his tragic love affair with the powerful queen Dido, and a long war in Italy fought so the Trojans can stay there (and eventually found Rome).
I’ll be reading the Latin along with the English. It might be hard to get me to shut up about it.
JEN will not be reading the Latin. You don’t have to read the Latin.
FUN FACT ABOUT THE AENEID. Did you know that Venus wears purple (or crimson) buskins in Carthage?
So leave a comment or email me at email@example.com if you’d like to join us.