The Elgin Marbles have been displayed in the British Museum for nearly two hundred years, and for just as long they have been the center of a raging controversy. In Stealing Athena, Karen Essex chronicles the Marbles' amazing journey through the dynamic narratives of Mary Nisbet, wife of the Earl of Elgin, the British ambassador to Constantinople, and Aspasia, the mistress of Perikles, the most powerful man in Athens during that citys Golden Age.
At the height of the Napoleonic Wars, the twenty-one-year-old, newly wed Countess of Elgin, a Scottish heiress and celebrated beauty, enchanted the power brokers of the Ottoman Empire, using her charms to obtain their permission for her husband's audacious plan to deconstruct the Parthenon and bring its magnificent sculptures to England. Two millennia earlier, Aspasia, a female philosopher and courtesan, and a central figure in Athenian life, plied her wits, allure, and influence with equal determination, standing with Perikles at the center of vehement opposition to his vision of building the most exquisite monuments the world had ever seen.
Rich in romance and intrigue, greed and glory, Stealing Athena is an enthralling work of historical fiction and a window into the intimate lives of some of historys most influential and fascinating women.
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"Essex shines light on the women who inspired and protected some of the greatest art ever created, and the men who exploited them." - Publishers Weekly.
"A lively expose of double standards in two societies that prided themselves on democratic ideals and respect for women." - Kirkus Reviews.
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Karen Essex is an award-winning novelist and journalist and a screenwriter.
She is the author of the national and international best-selling novel,
Leonardos Swans (Doubleday 2006), about the rivalries among the powerful
women painted by the great master when he was employed by the Duke of Milan. She
has also written two acclaimed biographical novels about the queen of Egypt,
Kleopatra and Pharaoh, published in 2001 and 2002, which she
adapted into a screenplay for Warner Bros. Essex also adapted Anne Rices novel
The Mummy or Ramses the Damned into a screenplay for Titanic
director James Cameron and 20th Century Fox, and has written a screenplay about
Kamehameha, the first king of Hawaii, for Columbia/Tristar.
Essexs articles, essays and profiles have ...
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