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About the book
  • Published: 15 April 2018
  • ISBN: 9781609807429
  • Imprint: Seven Stories Press
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 128
  • RRP: $30.00
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The Siege And Fall Of Troy


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A book for children that makes the Trojan War vivid and accessible.

The ancient city of Troy really existed. The Trojan War that figures in Homer’s two great epic poems, The Iliad and The Odyssey, really happened. But there is much more to it.

Leave it to one of the English language’s greatest practitioners, Robert Graves, to flesh out the story in a very short book for children, first published in 1962, and out of print for more than three decades. According to Graves, “English literature, to be properly understood, calls for as close a knowledge of the Trojan War as of the Bible: Helen’s beauty, Odysseus’s cunning, Hector’s noble courage, Achilles’s vulnerable heel, Ajax’s madness, Agamemnon’s murder, have all become proverbial. Yet The Siege and Fall of Troy is perhaps the first modern attempt to make the whole story, from the foundation of Troy to the return of the victorious Greeks, into a single short book for boys and girls.”

Two-thirds of Graves’s account originates with ancient Greek and Latin authors other than Homer, in fact. The ancient city of Troy was sacked sometime early in the 12th century BC; The Iliad and The Odyssey were composed some four or five centuries later. They followed earlier accounts and drew from them. Mostly, the various accounts agree with one another, and since most were originally performed at royal courts, the exploits of the royal-born feature in them all.

Graves’s style is sleek and to the point. The speech of the protagonists is direct and kids will relate to it. The story is told with verve and clarity. Since this is one of the greatest stories of all time, it doesn’t need dressing up. The new Seven Stories edition will be elegantly designed and produced, an heirloom for future generations:

“That night, Agamemnon could not sleep. He got up, armed himself and went in search of his brother Menelaus. ’What we need,’ he told Menelaus, ’is a really clever scheme for saving our army and our fleet…’” (from The Siege and Fall of Troy by Robert Graves)

  • Pub date: 15 April 2018
  • ISBN: 9781609807429
  • Imprint: Seven Stories Press
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 128
  • RRP: $30.00

About the Author

Robert Graves


Robert Graves was born in 1895 in Wimbledon, the son of Irish writer Perceval Graves and Amalia Von Ranke. He went from school to the First World War, where he became a captain in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. After this, apart from a year as Professor of English Literature at Cairo University in 1926, he earned his living by writing, mostly historical novels, including: I, Claudius; Claudius the God; Count Belisarius; Wife of Mr Milton; Sergeant Lamb of the Ninth; Proceed, Sergeant Lamb; The Golden Fleece; They Hanged My Saintly Billy; and The Isles of Unwisdom. He wrote his autobiography, Goodbye to All That, in 1929, and it was soon established as a modern classic. The Times Literary Supplement acclaimed it as 'one of the most candid self portraits of a poet, warts and all, ever painted', as well as being of exceptional value as a war document. Two of his most discussed non-fiction works are The White Goddess, which presents a new view of the poetic impulse, and The Nazarine Gospel Restored (with Joshua Podro), a re-examination of primitive Christianity. He also translated Apuleius, Lucan and Suetonius for the Penguin Classics, and compiled the first modern dictionary of Greek Mythology, The Greek Myths. His translation of The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám (with Omar Ali-Shah) is also published in Penguin. He was elected Professor of Poetry at Oxford in 1961 and made an Honorary Fellow of St John's College, Oxford, in 1971.

Robert Graves died on 7 December 1985 in Majorca, his home since 1929. On his death The Times wrote of him, 'He will be remembered for his achievements as a prose stylist, historical novelist and memorist, but above all as the great paradigm of the dedicated poet, 'the greatest love poet in English since Donne'.'

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