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Stealing Athena: A Novel

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The author of the bestselling Leonardo's Swans traverses the centuries into the hearts of two extraordinary women to reveal the passions, ambitions, and controversies surrounding the Elgin Marbles. 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 city's 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 history's most influential and fascinating women.

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ISBN:
9781415949016
9780385526708
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Grouping Title stealing athena
Grouping Author essex karen
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2020-10-25 23:12:55PM
Last Indexed 2020-10-26 00:20:52AM

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Stealing Athena is the story of two women, separated by centuries but united by their association with some of the world's greatest and most controversial works of art. Aspasia, a philosopher and courtesan to visionary politician Pericles during Athens's Golden Age, defies societal restrictions to become fiercely influential in Athens' power circle. Mary, the Countess of Elgin and a beautiful Scottish heiress, charms the fearsome men of the Ottoman Empire to make possible her husband's costly acquisitions, all the while brazenly defying the social conventions of her time. Both women prevail yet pay a heavy price for their rebellion. A tale of romance, intrigue, greed, and glory, Stealing Athena interweaves the lives of two of history's most beguiling heroines.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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title_display Stealing Athena
title_full Stealing Athena
Stealing Athena A Novel
title_short Stealing Athena
title_sub A Novel
topic_facet Fiction
Literature