This was the first book I read by Margaret George, and I quickly realized that to read one of her books is to have an emotional experience. When I read one of her books, I want the book at my side, ready to be picked up and read at a moment's notice, while the story rattles around in my head throughout the day.
I've found Margaret George's books always to be well researched. They're exhaustive. They're a good advertisement for the Kindle, as they are big, heavy books. What I liked so much about Helen of Troy is that the gods are full-fledged characters in this book. George doesn't flinch from the myth. But she also gives us a look at the culture of war. I was very struck by the tremendous importance placed on what happened to casualties of war. If someone from your side is killed on the battlefied, would you be able to reclaim the body? Would you have any control over what happened to the body. Would it be given proper respect?
It was a very thoughtful, absorbing book, one that I would highly recommend.
Since I read this book, I've read her work on Cleopatra, Mary, Queen of Scots, and Henry VIII. In each instance, I found the books to be an emotionally immersive. it was one of those times whereI wanted to be talking about these books to everyone I met, and where some of the books were very hard to read. I found that especially true with Mary, Queen of Scots. It was very hard for me to finish the book, beause her suffering seemed so real. George seems to have this talent to convey characters and situations in a way that feel utterly relatable.