Sites of Antiquity
Armchair grand tour
Reviewed by P Furtado
This is a beautiful, accessible illustrated book which really brings the Blue Guide imprint up to date. It offers a spin round the great classical sites of the Mediterranean and the Nile, plus a couple of Roman sites – Trier and Hadrian’s Wall – much further north. Each site is treated to a crisp introduction to the history and its excavation, when relevant, and each article is boosted with factboxes and sidebards contextualising and explaining what it was all about. Plus of course a range of gorgeous photos, some historic prints and a few reconstruction artworks.
You might feel there are a lot of books answering to a description like that, but this one stands out by being written by an author with real knowledge and a great deal of experience at explaining the things the reader/visitor really wants to know, as well as the things the reader or visitor ought to want to know.
You wouldn’t want to take it with you on a hot day in Karnak – too big and too heavy and not enough specific detail to be worth the effort – but you can buy a traditional Blue Guide for that. Instead, study it – and enjoy it – at home, or in your cruise cabin.