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Orpheus: The Song of Life
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Orpheus has haunted man s consciousness from his birth, at the foot of Mount Olympus, to the muse Calliope, and the god Apollo. He appears in various guises- Greek Orpheus is naked but for a short cloak; in the East he wears a baggy trousers and a turban; Thracian Orpheus wears a thick cloak and cone-shaped hat. His lyre, the source of all poetry and all songs, is ever-present at his side. Nature taught him, and his music entrances everything in its range, animals, trees, stones, water and man. In this masterful and far-reaching work, Ann Wroe explores the life and legacy of this enigmatic muse, recounting his many forms, and the myriad ways in which Orpheus and the Orphic spirit has enthused and inspired through the ages. Examining the evidence of his life the mountains where he walked, the temples where he worshipped the image of Orpheus deepens, melded to the myths, fables and lessons that have grown up around him- of his birth, his voyage on the Argonaut, his love for Eurydice and journey to Hades, and his terrible death. Beginning in antiquity, we follow the poet from a sixth-century BC vase to the descriptions of Pindar, Aristotle, Ovid, and Cicero. We see him in bibl
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A powerful and poetic work of history on the figure of Orpheus: his life and myth, and his representation and imagining from the sixth century BC to the present day.

Ann Wroe is the Briefings and Obituaries Editor of the Economist. After taking a degree in History and a doctorate in medieval history (Oxford, 1975) she worked at the BBC World Service, covering French and Italian politics. She joined the Economist in 1976 to cover American politics, and has held the posts of Books and Arts editor (1988-1992) and American editor (1992-2000). She has written five books: Lives, Lies and the Iran-Contra Affair; A Fool and His Money: Life in a Partitioned Medieval Town; Pilate: The Biography of an Invented Man; Perkin: A Story of Deception and Being Shelley: The Poet's Search for Himself. She is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and the Royal Society of Literature. She is married with three sons and lives in London

About the Author

Ann Wroe is the Briefings and Obituaries Editor of the Economist. After taking a degree in History and a doctorate in medieval history (Oxford, 1975) she worked at the BBC World Service, covering French and Italian politics. She joined the Economist in 1976 to cover American politics, and has held the posts of Books and Arts editor (1988-1992) and American editor (1992-2000). She has written five books- Lives, Lies and the Iran-Contra Affair; A Fool and His Money- Life in a Partitioned Medieval Town; Pilate- The Biography of an Invented Man; Perkin- A Story of Deception and Being Shelley- The Poet's Search for Himself. She is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and the Royal Society of Literature. She is married with three sons and lives in London

Reviews

"This insightful and visionary study, treading a perfect line between imagination and scholarship, is as readable and necessary as a fine novel. Ted Hughes, another mythographer, would have loved it." * Independent * "Ann Wroe has an acute eye for pastoral detail...and takes a novelist's care in exploring character and evoking atmosphere... [Orpheus] will leave you dancing." * New Statesman * "This is a most remarkable book... most rewarding... [a book] that will surely enhance Ann Wroe's already considerable reputation." * The Irish Times * "Orpheus: The Song of Life is a book of wonders, learned, playful and passionate...For all her studies, her wide reading, her historical dilligence, Wroe's method is instinctive, as she searches for inspirations and connections across the millennia." * Guardian * "Marvellous subjects can still, sometimes deliver leaden books. This one, though, really is a song ... It evokes, but it also embodies, its subject." * The Times *

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