Helen of Troy And The Solar Eclipse of 2017:
What does Helen of Troy have to do with the solar eclipse of 2017? The novel Helen of Troy by Dora Benley was inspired by an earlier solar eclipse experienced by the author when writing the novel. It was so impressive that she included the eclipse in the first scene of the historical thriller. She was intrigued to depict the eclipse the way a Greek from the Mycenaean Age in the Bronze Age would think of it. It was a catastrophe brought on by the angry gods perhaps. Here is the beginning of the novel so you can see what Dora Benely was attempting to convey:
A black bull charged across the face of the sun and consumed it until only a halo could escape. Then the Goddess of Heaven passed, and it was daylight again. Old as I am now I can still remember the day the sky went black in Sparta. I had just turned sixteen summers in the moon of the first grape harvest when about midday the sun disappeared.
This is the age of the Mother Goddess when God was a She who had to be propitiated, and this one solar eclipse causes havoc in Helen’s home town of Sparta in ancient Greece.
So wherever you are in the United States on Monday, August 21 when you are viewing the Solar Eclipse of 2017 think of Helen of Troy in Sparta, a priestess of the Mother Goddess, being surprised by an ancient solar eclipse that prefaces all her adventures to come in Greece and Troy. Come and see it all through her eyes when you read the young adult thriller Helen of Troy.
As the Kirkus Reviews once said of this book: Dora Benley’s portrayal of Helen as supporter of the people and clever, if misunderstood, female in a world of men—as opposed to the more familiar fickle housewife—keeps this classic, action-packed tale bubbling to the last huzzah. An auspicious beginning —and a delightful read.
If you liked Helen of Troy, you will enjoy other novels by Dora Benley including the Salisbury Plot, Book of the Dead, Dark 3: Special Edition, Mary’s Gone, and Latin Lessons.