The author of the bestselling Leonardo’s Swans traverses the centuries into the hearts of two extraordinary women to reveal the passions, ambitions, and controversies surrounding the Elgin Marbles.
The Elgin Marbles have been displayed in the British Museum for nearly two hundred years, and for just as long they have been the center of a raging controversy. In Stealing Athe
In 1799 Lord Elgin was appointed ambassador to Constantinople. He was a newlywed and took his wife, Mary, with him to his post. He was glad to ...more
We also get ...more
(quote from Pheidos from the novel)
Main characters Mary and Aspasia are definitely such women. That's all I will say to refrain from spoilers.
I loved this book mainly because it was like no historical novel I read before. I had not yet read anything that took place in Greece or Turkey at any time, nor had I read anything at all ...more
The book appealed to my dormant desire to learn more about the Elgin marbles. Essex writes with confidence and an intimate tone that makes the period and the characters ...more
Lord Elgin was ...more
Mary Nesbit convinces her father to allow her to marry Thomas Bruce, the 7th Earl of Elgin, because she desires to marry for love. Her father is not convinced of his worthiness - especially financially - but agrees to the match. Very shortly after marrying, Lord Elgin is named the British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, a ...more
At 21, newlywed, Mary, the countess of Elgin used her charm and influence with the Ottoman Empire to gain permission for her husband Elgin to deconstruct what was left of the Greek Parthenon and bring it's amazing sculptures back to England, during the Napoleonic wars.
Two millennia earlier, Aspasia, courtesan to Perikles and philoso ...more
It was an enjoyable story but I was ultimately displeased by it in a few ways. We don't hear any of Aspasia's story until we are already a third of the way through Mary's, and even then maybe four chapters of the entire book are hers. Secondly, the first part of the book is rather slow, meandering it's way around the Turkish court, then it picks up and races through to the end. The ending feels extremely hurried and rushed. Mary's story is told in the third person, while Aspasia's is in the fir ...more
One of the better historical fiction novels I've read in some time.
Please see my blog, "Women, History, Sex, & Power" at htt ...more