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The Gold of Troy: The Story of Heinrich Schliemann and the Buried Cities… (1959)

by Robert Payne

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I came across this book by complete accident. It has no writing on the spine and I picked it up simply to see what it was. I read the back, then opened it and read the first couple of pages and decided from that, I just had to read it!

I'm not a scholar, have no interest in archeology or history. I rarely read biographies but this book just took a hold of me.

Schliemann led a fascinating life and this book is written in such a way that I absorbed the facts and history very easily. It was almost like reading a novel in that I did not want to put it down, I had to know the next stage of this mans life.

A truly absorbing and fascinating read. ( )
1 vote sundowneruk | Feb 2, 2016 |
Heinrich's life was full of striving to win the things that mattered to him. He grew up poor in Germany and in love with hearing stories of Greek heroes from his father. He fell in love at a young age (7 to 11)and was devastated when he had to move away from the girl he loved when his mother died.

He was determined that he would make enough money to marry the girl he loved and return to him once he did so. He slaved away for 16 years, teaching himself multiple languages, and getting involved with a trading company until he was moderately wealthy. He set out to find the girl he had sacrified everything to earn his wealth for only to find she married a farmer a few weeks before he reached out for her.

He continued the course and accumulated more and more wealth. He moved to Russia and cornered the market on several items and became very wealthy. He had few friends and his eventual marriage was unhappy. Finally toward the end of his life had enough money to do things he loved and married a woman that made him happy and he, her.

The author here does highlight both positive and negative sides of Heinrich and his character but it's a little jarring how he stops the flow of the story to analyse Heinrich or Homer at times.

( )
  Chris_El | Mar 19, 2015 |
Inspired by my Latin teacher in high school I read this exciting story of Heinrich Schliemann's search for the real city of Troy. She was married to an archaeologist and they would spend summers in Central America. While learning Latin I was also learning about the Greek culture that so heavily influenced Rome. In doing so I was led inexorably to this exciting story of the man who believed that Homer's Troy was a real place. Schliemann was vindicated and Robert Payne's book tells about his incredible journey in search of his dream. This is an excellent book to read in conjunction with The Iliad to more completely savour the grandeur that was Mycenaen culture. ( )
  jwhenderson | Feb 5, 2011 |
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