DARLING PERICLES by Madelon Dimont

DARLING PERICLES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Here we go a-Women's Libbing in ancient Greece with Aspasia, courtesan and mistress of Pericles, and it's just about as out of hand as one would expect. Ms. Dimont begins with what one hopes will develop into a caustic satirical fling at sexist living cherished through the ages. Aspasia is raised by a father who believes women to be superior. Father sleeps in the rear ""men's quarters,"" serves meals to the women, promises to love, honor and obey, and all boy babies are exposed to the elements at birth to die. With a legacy of an excellent education, Aspasia finds that the most pleasant way of earning a living in the male world is prostitution. Before long -- and this is when the conceit slips its moorings -- she is the toast of Athens, not only because of a bod that swings but she has a mind and delivers lectures on the emancipation of women. She talks and she talks and she talks and Sophocles, Socrates, Anaxagoras, Euripides sooner or later all turn up (Platonically) to hear more, but it is Pericles she marries and to some extent reforms. She writes for him a certain funeral oration -- in fact she may have talked him to death.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1972
Publisher: Atheneum