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Homer's Daughter

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  287 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Graves has recreated another strong and convincing historical setting; this time the scene of the Odyssey, which he believes occurred in Western Sicily. Graves believes also that the author of the Odyssey was not the blind and bearded Homer of legend, but the young woman who calls herself Nausica in the story.
Paperback, 283 pages
Published August 30th 2005 by Academy Chicago Publishers (first published 1955)
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Robert Graves, best known for I, Claudius, uses Samuel Butler’s theory that The Odyssey was actually written by a Sicilian woman as the inspiration for the novel Homer’s Daughter. Nausicaa, daughter of an Elyman king, faces a host of unwelcome suitors while the king is away and has to devise a means of getting rid of them. Luckily, she is quick-witted and resourceful in facing her conundrum. She also has a knack for poetry and has a bard in her debt who happens to be a Son of Homer. With these a ...more
I had a hard time getting into this book. The first half is tiresome and I almost gave up on it but then in the second half the plot picks up and the writing improves. In the end I would say that I do recommend this book, though with a warning about its slow start.
Es una novela de aventura, basada en una hipótesis que probablemente "La Odisea" haya sido escrita por una princesa Siciliana. La princesa Nausicaa que aparece en la epopeya del regreso a Ítaca de Ulises, es en esta obra de ficción, la que escribe la versión original de este épico, como hija de Homero (título que se daba a los que recitaban la poesía Homérica en las cortes de los reyes y construían poemas relacionados a la época helénica), recién nacida e inspirada por la propia Atenea, construy ...more
Feb 16, 2013 Phoebe rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Phoebe by: Margaret
Graves wrote this book in 1955 after reading, and becoming convinced by, Samuel Butler's persuasive viewpoint that a woman was the author of the Odyssey, a woman who lived in 750 B.C. Sicily. According to Butler, Sicily was the actual setting for the Odyssey, which was written nearly 150 years after Homer wrote the Iliad, and it is considered a tale of women for women (as opposed to the Iliad, a "tale of men for men"). Graves breathes life into Princess Nausicaa, Butler's authoress, daughter of ...more
In Homer's Daughter, Robert Graves takes up Samuel Butler's argument that it wasn't blind old Homer who wrote The Odyssey, but a young woman from Sicily. Her name was Nausicaa, says Graves, and she wrote the epic poem in the tradition of the singing poets called Homer's Sons, based on her own life experiences. Nausicaa, the princess who does the washing in The Odyssey, who saves Odysseus when he is shipwrecked on the island where she lives, who gives him some of the laundry to wear and helps him ...more
This time around Graves was not so interested in story itself - although there is a very exciting story to tell - as to theory how all those memories and oral traditions probably became interwoven into what we know today as "Odyssey". The novel is set in ancient kingdom on Sicily where princess Nausicaa has to somehow maneuver group of young rascals who in absence of her father plan to swiftly take over the rule and her hand - remember Penelope and her suitors? - along the way she connects previ ...more
Robert Graves claims that he was inspired to write this books when he was convinced by the thesis that the Odyssey was written by a woman around the 6th century BC.
The book is not really an attempt to prove this thesis, but a fictional adventure about the female authoress of the epic.
Nausicaa is a Greek princess on a Sicilian colony. When her father and older brother depart on sea trips, her house is threatened by a conspiracy. Nausicaa finds herself in pretty much the same situation Penelope wa
Erik Graff
Apr 16, 2011 Erik Graff rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Erik by: Einar Graff Jr.
Shelves: literature
Once when asking Dad for a book suggestion, he told me that he had spent a good deal of the War on shipboard reading and that he had particularly liked Robert Graves' historical novels. Having already read the epics in school, I chose Homer's Daughter.

Graves was eccentric. A translator of a popular edition of the Iliad himself, he was definitely on top of the classics and very well read in ancient history. Whatever his considered judgment, however, he preferred to publish outrageously tendentiou
"Only let Eurymachus ask for another bath!" she cried. "I'll take net and axe and butcher him, as Clytaemnestra butchered Agamemnon. My heart growls in my breast like a bitch with puppies when a stranger approaches."
Caroline Beatle

Una historia de cómo se escribió la Odisea por una mujer. Es interesante leer los hechos ~reales~ que más tarde se convertirían en pasajes de ese poema. Me gustó mucho la manera en que Robert Graves acomodó todo, le dio sentido para explicar el origen de la Odisea, y de paso contó diversos mitos aunque me gustaría ver sus fuentes; eso sí, el inicio se me hizo súper pesado porque da muchísima información en pocas páginas y no me agradó cómo se desarrolló el ¿romance? ¿amor? ¿relación? de Etó
Feb 16, 2015 Isabel rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2015
Me ha gustado muchísimo, no he podido parar de leerlo desde que lo comencé ayer, y me ha dolido tener que dejarlo pero tenía que ir a clases y eso xD Muy entretenido.
A downside to this novel is that it won't make the exquisite and humorous sense it does unless one's already read the Odyssey, but that's a prerequisite that's easily enough fulfilled.
Montse de Paz
I rated it five stars because this is one of these few novels I have read more than once and probably will read again in the future.

Graves is unique as story-teller. In this novel he gives his voice to Nausicaa, a young, smart princess of Sicily who dreams about writing an epic poem while facing a conspiracy againts her royal family. Graves wrote this delicious homeric novel inspired in Butler's theory about the Odissey. According Butler, the author of this epic was a woman, and he gives some de
Entertaining, sometimes funny, good, not great.
Judyta Szaciłło
I was hoping for so much more from this book! A distinguished writer, an amazing plot, placed in a well-pictured historical reality... and yet the book is barely enjoyable. The writing is dry, the dialogues artificial. Who talks about types of cheese they've been served when referring a tremendously urgent matter of life and death in a hurry?
Camille Cusumano
Graves (I Claudius) makes a cogent case for the Odyssey having been written, not by Homer, but by a Sicilian woman living in Erice, 150 years after the Illiad was written. I don't know why there isn't more academic debate on this. There is at least one other scholar who agrees with this. See Graves's foreword.
Aug 10, 2007 Abby rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: classicists, archaeologists, and people who say "Really? I always wanted to be an archaeologist!"
It's an interesting book from a classicist/ fiction writer, but the writing is a bit dry. I enjoyed it, but I'm fascinated with the ancient Mediterranean world to a degree that most other people are not, so I'm not sure that I'd recommend it to many of my friends.
Reads like it's supposed to -- of the ancient classics genre. Of course, that also makes it snobby as hell and the characters rather unlikable by modern standards. But I like classics anyway :p
Eli Kalderon
Apr 03, 2011 Eli Kalderon is currently reading it
Chewing my nails as I immerse into the realms of Platonist theories congruent to today's epilogue on the human atrocities. Quite reluctant to finish the book..
If you're a fan of The Odyssey (I am!) and not opposed to non-traditional interpretations of the classics (yes!), then you will like this book. I sure did.
liked this book - ok the heroine was...hmm, a bit too self sufficient for me but it was fun to read the pre-(hi)stroy of Odyssey.
enjoyable. but not as good as i, claudius, which i think is brilliant. so this was a bit disappointing.
Adriaan Krabbendam
What if Homer appeared to be a woman writer? Very good read.
Liked it a lot, but not as much as Claudius. I must reread it.
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Robert Ranke Graves, born in Wimbledon, received his early education at King's College School and Copthorne Prep School, Wimbledon & Charterhouse School and won a scholarship to St John's College, Oxford. While at Charterhouse in 1912, he fell in love with G. H. Johnstone, a boy of fourteen ("Dick" in Goodbye to All That) When challenged by the headmaster he defended himself by citing Plato, G ...more
More about Robert Graves...
I, Claudius (Claudius, #1) Claudius the God and His Wife Messalina (Claudius, #2) Goodbye to All That The Greek Myths The White Goddess: A Historical Grammar of Poetic Myth

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