The mailbox has been very, very dry the last few weeks. But today I got a trickle.
From PaperBack Swap I received Stealing Athena by Karen Essex. I have had Leonardo's Swans on my shelf for a little while and when I realized it was about the Elgin Marbles, I had to have this one.
"At the height of the Napoleonic Wars, the 21-year-old newly wedded Mary Nisbet, Countess of Elgin, a Scottish heiress and celebrated beauty, enchanted the power brokers of the Ottoman Empire, using her charms to obtain their permission for her husband’s audacious plan to deconstruct the Parthenon and bring its magnificent sculptures to England. Two millennia earlier, Aspasia, a female philosopher and courtesan who presided with her lover, the visionary politician Pericles, over Athens’ Golden Age, plied her wits and allure with equal determination, standing with him at the center of vehement opposition to his ambitious plan to construct the most exquisite monuments the world had ever seen.
In parallel stories that resonate hauntingly, Aspasia witnesses the dramatic events that lead to the construction and dedication of the Parthenon, and Mary Nisbet witnesses that same magnificent building’s deconstruction and demise.
Rich in romance and intrigue, greed and glory, Stealing Athena is an enthralling work of historical fiction and a window into the intimate lives of some of history’s most influential and fascinating women" (from author's website).
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