Book - 2008
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In The Aeneid, Vergil's hero fights to claim the king's daughter, Lavinia, with whom he is destined to found an empire. Lavinia herself never speaks a word in the poem. Now, Ursula K. Le Guin gives Lavinia a voice in a novel that takes the reader to the half-wild world of ancient Italy, when Rome was a muddy village near seven hills.--From
Publisher: Orlando : Harcourt, 2008
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780151014248
Characteristics: 279 p. : map ; 24 cm


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RainbowPonygirl1234 Aug 28, 2019

An interesting read about a minor character in Virgil's Aeneid. If you liked Circe by Madeline Miller and are looking for something similar, I would highly recommend this book.

Jul 13, 2019

Ursala Le Guin is a wizard of a storyteller. To create a novel from a lesser character with no voice from a classic poem is masterful and creative. You won't be disappointed.

Jul 06, 2019

Wonderful, poetic tale based on Virgil's "Aeneid." In the poem, Virgil leaves out the name of his Trojan hero's second wife. But as the Poet's dying at Latinium's sacred springs, he tells Lavinia that Aeneas will come from Troy for her, and she's to turn down all other suitors so she can marry him. They will rule Latinium together after her father's death, as she is his only surviving child. The Poet's prophecy comes true, though she tells no one. Other than this prophesy and some dreams that push the plot along, this book is as historical as LeGuin can make it. It's less science fiction than many of her works, but just as magical. Highly recommended. Some of the prophetic speech confused me a bit to start with. But make no mistake, LeGuin is a master writer, who entirely pulled me into the world she constructs. Her characters are real, grow, and relate to each other in realistic ways.

Apr 05, 2018

This is a very enjoyable and interesting read, inspired by Virgil's Aeneid. Lavinia, who is silent in the poem, is a wonderful creation. Le Guinn is masterful in her portrayal of Lavinia as a character conscious that she is a character in the poem.

Jan 26, 2018

Lavinia is an excellently executed story in the same context as the Aeneid, but from a drastically different context than the epics usually portray. Rather than the works of Gods and the wars of men, it focused on the daily rituals in times of peace, and how that fragile peace was preserved. Another example in Ursula K Le Guin's work of the value in the smaller, intimate human stories that are so often ignored in the noisy narratives of clashing wars and the shaping of nations.

Oct 04, 2016

Did you know Mars (Planet, War, Change) and March (Springtime, Army, change) are related words? This and other cultural richness in this awesome classic tale retold in a very relevant way.

Le Guin is a true genius. Or perhaps she would prefer I say Juno ;-)

Oct 14, 2014

Recommend highly!

Dec 20, 2013

Lavinia --- by Ursula LeGuin Lavinia. It is the tale opf the daughter of the king of Latinus of Latium hard by the Italian shores of the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Tiber River. This is before the founding of Rome. It is the story of how she grew up, met the Trojan Aenas and fell very much in love with him and the child she bore them. It is a tale of omens and portents, a tale of poets on their way to the underworld telling tales of the past and the future, telling the tale that after three years of marriage, Aenas would go to ground. It is the tale of life after this change in the life and fortunes of Lavinia until it too, inevitable, must come to it’s end. In this instance, LeGuin dons the raiment of on e who writes in fiction of the past. Her prose is almost lyrical, almost poetic. This is how one might read scripture, how one might read one of the ancient authors. This is a tale is is wonderfully crafted. It is happy, it is sad. It tells of people noble as well as pinched and stunted. It is the story of a life: of a daughter, of a queen, and a mother. It is well worth reading.

forbesrachel Apr 17, 2013

Lavinia is level headed and strong willed, that will of hers never seems to translate into the plot though, for she is lead from one point to the next by the choices of others around her, as well as fate. It is only at one point that she makes a decision by herself that has impact, but this does not continue. In this world, we see how strong the influence of men are, but being from Lavinia's viewpoint, we learn much about the world of an upper class woman and her role in the home and religious sphere. There are many references to ancient roman culture (how much relates to pre-roman culture can be debated), and due to the poets involvement their are ample bits referring to written works, other cultures of the time, and even verified historical notes (emperors did have influence over what was written in histories, including the Aeneid). The addition of certain latin words to get across a specific cultural meaning is also a worthy touch.

Jul 31, 2012

LeGuin just keeps on getting better. Read this book.

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Oct 30, 2013

I wondered why a man would go into battle expecting not to be hurt, what he thought a battle was. . . . But he had expected to kill, not to be killed, and lay puzzling about the injustice of it.

Oct 30, 2013

He saw women as he saw dogs or cattle, members of another species, to be taken into account only as they were useful or dangerous.

Oct 30, 2013

Though people often confuse it with weakness or duplicity, tact is a great quality in a ruler, whether of a country or a household; awareness of the other allows respect, and people respond to it, returning the recognition and the respect. Aeneas governed with tact, and was beloved for it.


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Jul 25, 2008



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