THE LION IN THE GATEWAY; A Breakthrough Book by Mary Renault

THE LION IN THE GATEWAY; A Breakthrough Book

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This well-known author of several adult novels about ancient Greece has written an account of the wars between the Greeks and Persians at Marathon; Salamis, and Thermopylae. In the Historical Note it is said of Herodotus' History, ""One great ideal underlies all his book: that history is about people,"" and Miss Renault has stuck quite closely to this philosophy in this very personalized and dramatic narrative. By piecing together numerous details about the attitudes and mores of the Greeks and Persians, and the actual historical events are recorded in Herodotus, Plutarch, and Aeschylus, the thesis is developed that the Greeks, supported by their fundamental belief in freedom, were able to turn back the Persians, who although stronger in numbers were dependent on the single, often unreasoning, will of a despotic ruler. There is a good deal of fictionalized speculation about the heroes of wars, for instance an extensive description of the thoughts going through Pheidippides' head as he ran to Marathon, which is not adequately distinguished from the factual material. This is, however, an exciting and detailed history, which recreates the spirit as well as the events of the period. A map, Glossary, list of Dates of the Chief Events, and Index are included.

Pub Date: Sept. 9th, 1964
Publisher: Harper & Row