In her latest excursion into Greek legend, Adèle Geras adds the story of Dido of Carthage to that of Troy and Ithaka. As in her earlier stories, this is the world of the male warrior heroes seen predominantly through the eyes of the women that love and wait for them. This time the victim that legend recognises is Dido, the Queen of Carthage, a woman whose majesty, statecraft, care of her people, and instinct for survival, all amount to nothing once Cupid’s arrow puts her under the spell of Aeneas, for whom Carthage and Dido are just welcome ports of call on his way to become the founder of Rome. But Geras’s version is also the story of Elissa, a young maid servant, favoured by Dido, who, like her mistress, falls for Aeneas, and bears his child. The story, too, of Dido’s sister Anna and her unrequited love for a young court poet, himself smitten by Elissa; and of Cubby, a kitchen boy, who, almost accidentally, becomes a half bemused witness to the scheming, confusion and despair that whisper, sigh and moan through the Carthaginian palace in the hours following Aeneas’s departure. Cubby, in his naivety, self effacement and willingness to please, offers humorous and gentle relief for the reader from the intrigues and passions that boil about him. Geras, as in her previous novels, loses none of the power and fascination of the original story; and, while honouring the conventions of meddling gods and irresistible destiny, intensifies and grounds Dido’s tragedy through the half spoken desires, commonplace compromises, deceits and betrayals in the stories that are woven around it.
http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png 0 0 Richard Hill http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png Richard Hill2009-07-01 16:44:082022-12-12 16:46:11Dido