The Mirror of Antiquity: 20th Century British Travellers in Greece

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Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2007 - History - 162 pages
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During the last century, writers as diverse as William Golding, Henry Miller, Lawrence Durrell, Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf, and Laurie Lee, were captivated by Greece. They were joined in their production of travel accounts by hundreds of lesser-known authors. This book exposes how the responses of travellers were conditioned by much more than their own opinions and personalities. The British education system, classical scholarship, and the heroism demonstrated by the Greeks during the Nazi invasion of their country, all contributed to shaping travel narratives. The author analyses the way in which all of the major archaeological sites were describedincluding the Athenian Acropolis, Delphi, Olympia, Heinrich Schliemanns Mycenae, and Sir Arthur Evans Knossos in Crete. The representation of the modern Greek people, particularly in the period after the Second World War, is also explored at length. Viewed as relics of the past, the Greeks in literature were given the qualities and appearance of their ancestors. David Wills shows how in the hands of twentieth century travel writers, Greece became less a modern country, and more a mirror of antiquity. This book is essential reading for all who are interested in the history of travel and tourism, reception of the classical past, and recent Greek history.

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A History of Travel Writing about Greece
The British and the Greeks

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About the author (2007)

David Wills studied ancient history and archaeology at University College London and Wolfson College, Cambridge. He received his PhD from the University of Surrey Roehampton in 2003. His work has been published in several academic journals and he is a member of the Standing Committee on Modern Greek in the Universities.

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