"If in the library of your house you do not have the works of the ancient Greek writers then you have a house with no light" George Bernard ShawThere is so much in the modern world which has its origins in Greece, most notably language and literature. As Shelley once said, "We are all Greeks". This small, rugged, sea-girt country has the longest written history in Europe. Her myths and legends, so deeply embedded in Western consciousness, and her sublime landscapes, so infused with history, have been muse for writers, artists and travellers for millennia. Travelling from Athens to the scattered islands of the Ionian and Aegean seas, the words of literary titans in the West echo through the centuries: from Homer and Plato to Byron, Flaubert and Twain; Henry Miller to John Fowles; the Durrells to Patrick Leigh Fermor and Cavafy, Kazantzakis and Seferis. Their luminous portraits of Greece - poignant, provocative, always entertaining - enrich our own experiences of the country and shed light on a dramatic and often tragic past.
Michael Carroll was born in England but spent much of his early life in India. He is the author of From a Persian Tea House and An Island in Greece (Tauris Parke Paperbacks) and divides his time between Sussex and the Greek island of Skopelos.