How did that Trojan War start? Odysseus must have done something before the Iliad and the Odyssey. James Baldwin originally wrote this story in 1896. Combining Greek mythology and a bit of poetic license, Baldwin aims at conversationally preparing us for reading Homer’s works ourselves. This is the before, whetting our appetite, as well as helping us understand the back story before we travel on. The 21 chapters introduce Odysseus, Paris, Penelope, Helen (the “source” of the trouble), and end with the siege on Troy and a certain wooden horse. Includes an afterword, index to proper names, a map of Greece (although the small print makes reading challenging), and annotations. 6”x 9”, 291 pgs, pb. ~ Ruth
This book paves the way to an enjoyable reading of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, by presenting the legends about the causes of the Trojan War woven into a continuous narrative, ending where the story of the Iliad begins. The youthful Odysseus is the hero, as he journeys to visit his grandfather Autolycus, then Nestor and Menelaus, hearing the old stories as he goes.