Oh, Robert Graves, one must be careful when mentioning your name, after all, I was well led astray for many years by your entrancing words, thinking The White Goddess was a work of poetic archaeology and history, and not, indeed, taking such liberties as to become unscholarly myth itself. Serves me right for not being more critical about a field I honestly know sod all about.
And so back and back until we thump headlong into the Roman Empire. I, Claudius. I’m fairly sure I haven’t read this before, but considering I forget what I’m doing and pick up soap and nail clippers when intending for implements of brushing teeth, I’m not inclined to take my certainty with much … uh, certainty.
This then, is another of my delectable pile of cheap secondhand acquisitions caused entirely by reading Jo Walton’s Among Others (one of which I suspect I won’t mention here because it’s so awfully bad), and so I don’t have any particular affinity towards it or explanation of why I’m reading it beyond this. Simply, it happened to be on the shelves, I’d already picked up a couple of other books, and didn’t really feel like pestering my way through a list of some 160 books, most of which I had no idea about the author, let alone read.
So far it is not as first-hand descriptively bloody as The Water Margin, however 40 or so pages in, there has already been a civil war which seems to have left quite a bit of the Empire missing being alive, and more than a few poisonings and betrayals.