Sunday, February 1, 2009

Stealing Athena by Karen Essex


Stealing Athena is about two influential and custom defying women in history. Both caught between the conventions of their time and trying to help the men they loved.

At 21, newlywed, Mary, the countess of Elgin used her charm and influence with the Ottoman Empire to gain permission for her husband Elgin to deconstruct what was left of the Greek Parthenon and bring it's amazing sculptures back to England, during the Napoleonic wars.
Two millennia earlier, Aspasia, courtesan to Perikles and philosopher, used her charm and influence to get Athens to allow the building of the Parthenon and all of its amazing monuments.

The flow of the book going from one time and place to the other was weaved in perfect synchronization by Karen Essex. Her descriptions of both the construction and deconstruction of the Parthenon made me feeling like I was there, witnessing it for myself. Essex poet pose made me race through the pages, but not wanting the book to end.

This is historical fiction at its finest! Highly recommended!


Thanks to Adrienne C. Sparks of Doubleday for a copy of this book!


  1. I really like the sound of this one!

  2. This one sounds terrific! I've always been fascinated by the Elgin marbles. Also, the main building at the school where my DH teaches is called "The Parthenon" aka "Founders Hall" because it is a 90% replica of the original. It'll be really interesting to read about the construction of the original.

  3. This sounds so good! I would love to read about the Elgin marbles through historical fiction. I've done very little traveling, and one of the only places I've been outside of the US is London. Seeing the Elgin Marbles was a treat.

    I have added this one to my list.

  4. Marg, I know that you would enjoy this one!

    Lady Doc, it is outstanding. That's so cool- "The Parthenon" aka "Founders Hall" because it is a 90% replica of the original."


    I've never been outside North America. I wish I would have traveled when I graduated University, but I was so worried about paying back my student loans. I sure hope to travel, maybe in 8 years, when the house will be paid for.

  5. Thanks so much for your generous praise of my book. Please visit my website and sign up for my newsletter. You might enjoy the additional content I've posted about my characters.

    My best,
    Karen Essex

  6. Karen, thanks for stoppping by! I loved Stealing Athena and it was my pleasure sharing that with others!