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Homer's Daughter

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  422 Ratings  ·  40 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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Sarah (Presto agitato)
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
Fernando Gonzalo Pellico
Muy buena recreación histórica de la Odisea. Una historia alternativa a la canónica que transmite Homero, dando una explicación distinta, que justificaría las discrepancias de estilo entre la Ilíada y la Odisea.

Lectura obligada para los interesados en los mitos homéricos.
Dec 06, 2010 Debi rated it liked it
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.
Mar 09, 2013 Louisa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, mythology
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
Dec 24, 2014 Tomas rated it it was amazing
"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."
Mar 18, 2017 Mika rated it it was amazing
Feb 13, 2013 Phoebe rated it liked it
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
Don Mario
Aug 02, 2015 Don Mario rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Non mi intendo di letteratura greca, ma si sa che l'identità di Omero è tema discusso. Ispirato dall'ipotesi di uno studioso che proponeva un'Odissea di composizione più tardiva dell'Iliade, in una colonia greca e, udite udite, per mano di una donna! lo studioso Robert Graves si è lanciato in un suo personale divertissement: che tipo di donna avrebbe potuto scrivere l'Odissea? Quali vicende potrebbero averla ispirata?

E così ci racconta un'Odissea vista da Penelope. Con la bella e intelligente Na
Nov 25, 2013 Sasha rated it liked it
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
Jun 22, 2014 Hugo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 09, 2007 Dimitri rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 14, 2008 Erik Graff rated it really liked it  ·  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
Montse de Paz
Feb 09, 2013 Montse de Paz rated it it was amazing
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
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
Stephanie Ricker
Dec 17, 2016 Stephanie Ricker rated it it was ok
I was fascinated by the miniseries I, Claudius based upon Robert Graves' book, and when I realized this book was in my husband's collection, I snatched it, expecting to be likewise fascinated. I was intrigued by the premise, based on Samuel Butler's theory: what if Homer's Odyssey was in fact written by a young woman? I was surprised by how dull and lifeless the execution was. The writing style was so colorless I was half-tempted to see if this was the same Robert Graves or if someone had swiped ...more
Oh this was lovely. Graves's form of meta-classics fanfic feels a bit more rigorous than, say, Lavinia by Ursula K. Le Guin, and I feel even more of a compulsion to go through Homer than I did with Virgil after finishing Lavinia.

Nausicaa is a wonderful narrator, and the anthropological details about life in the Greek empire were excellent.
Annie T
Nov 19, 2015 Annie T rated it really liked it
I am woefully unacquainted with the Odyssey and the Iliad, so many of the references and analogies were above my head, but I suspect they would be considered brilliant for those familiar with the ancient texts. The story included so many characters with long, often similar Greek names I often had trouble following who was who, but it didn't matter. Homer's Daughter was an exciting and very enjoyable adventure.
Oct 19, 2016 Nicole rated it really liked it
The style is in keeping with the setting. The flow is very different from a modern novel and more like reading a translation of an ancient epic (except not in verse), which I assume was the goal. Overall I enjoyed it. I would have liked to have had the argument for a female author presented though - perhaps in short section at the end. Now I must go find his sources. Which I probably would have done anyway. I suspect Butler may be hard to locate these days though.
Dec 13, 2016 Dearbhla rated it it was ok
This book/story/author isn't clever as it thinks it is. Or the intended audience is incredibly niche, possibly just the author in fact. The performance of the reader for my Bolinda/Borrowby audio book version was quite poor. Clear enunciation but little or no character differentiation. Just about tolerable overall.
Camille Cusumano
Nov 26, 2012 Camille Cusumano rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics
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.
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?
May 25, 2015 Trina rated it it was ok
I waited for this to become a good story, but it just never did. Some interesting ancient history tie-ins with Greek Sicily and mythology, but other than that pretty dull. I am disappointed--I loved the Claudius books and Belisarius was pretty good too.
Amy Turner
Oct 29, 2015 Amy Turner rated it liked it
One of those books that I can see is very well written, yet doesn't appeal to me in some basic way. Too political for my tastes. But I do appreciate that it shows how women could wield power even in ancient male dominated societies.
Aug 10, 2007 Abby rated it liked it
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.
Aug 20, 2012 Lisa added it
Adriaan Krabbendam
Dec 01, 2008 Adriaan Krabbendam rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
What if Homer appeared to be a woman writer? Very good read.
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..
vany ☆
Nov 02, 2016 vany ☆ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
eu sei que falei muito mal deste livro no início mas no final renova o estatuto de fanfic para um bom romance! recomendo!
Sep 04, 2014 Devon rated it liked it
Entertaining, sometimes funny, good, not great.
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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
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