DOUBLE SORROW: Troilus and Criseyde


DOUBLE SORROW: Troilus and Criseyde

LAVINIA GREENLAW    Book Number: 84997    Product format: Paperback

'For lovers for those who do not remember, for those who do not recover, for those trapped in another's gravity, for those in love with love's certainties, for those who forget what is fixed must break for love to be more than for love's sake.' A Thousand Ships: 'As if the sea itself surrounds the city. Why not? A brother's wife has been taken. Seven years without breath or pity. Heart-stopped. A brother's pride has been broken. Trapped in the walls of this other story an argument that has outgrown its truth why not argue themselves into love?' Short-listed for the 2014 Costa Poetry Award, Lavinia Greenlaw's pinpoint retelling of the Trojan hero Troilus and his beloved Criseyde renders the spirit of Chaucer's captivating love poem. Chaucer borrowed heavily from Boccaccio's Il Filostrato and completed his version around 1383 and this is generally held to be his greatest work in terms of English literature, as important as Beowulf. Chaucer darkens Pandarus the go-between, and casts a searching light on the lovers. In activating rather than depicting courtly love, Chaucer unsettles everything. You find yourself wondering how Troilus can be hunting in the forest when under siege - Chaucer later mentions that there had been a truce. They talk like medieval knights when they are ancient warriors, and refer to God but also to Gods. This is a lovers' story that could be yours or mine, packed with hope, fear, sympathy, pragmatism, self-protection, ambition, desire and exhaustion. Lavinia Greenlaw has jettisoned characters and scenes and made borrowings of her own. This story has over time and through all its variations deepened in its drama, a warrior prince who never quite grasps the idea that love is not a battle campaign requiring only a strategy. He never seems to wonder who Criseyde is beyond her beauty, but who is she? A widow without children, of some nobility but not equal to royalty, whose father Calchas has betrayed Troy and abandoned her to go over to the enemy. She is handed over to the Greeks at her father's urging in an exchange of prisoners and he fails to speak up, telling himself he must above all protect her honour. The lovers in turn trouble over their last night together, during which their absolute belief in each other is shown to be walled in by fear and confusion and they hesitate which is all very real and human. A superb imaginative reconstruction, this is an unforgettable poetry version of this heart-breaking love story. 218pp in paperback.
Published price: £9.99
Bibliophile price: £1.75


Additional product information

ISBN 9780571284559
Browse these categories as well: Literature & Classics, Mythology

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