Book of the month

15 Jul 2021

Colin Thubron, Journey into Cyprus, Penguin Travel Library, 1986

“I will sing of stately Aphrodite
gold- crowned and beautiful,
Whose dominion is the walled cities
of all sea-set Cyprus.”

Homeric Hymn.

Colin Gerald Dryden Thubron (1939 - ) was born in London, 14 June 1939 and received his education at Eton College. Before venturing into the literature world, he worked briefly for the publishers Hutchinson and as a freelance television film-maker in Turkey, Japan and Morocco. His writing is divided between two genres; literature and travel books, thus, being the silver lining author for two different kind of readers.

He obtained the reputation of a well-known travel writer and wrote books about his travels to the Middle East: Mirror to Damascus (1967), The Hills of Adonis: A Quest in Lebanon (1968), in Russia: Among the Russians (1983), in Central Asia: The Silk Road: beyond the celestial kingdom (1989), and of course in Cyprus: Journey Into Cyprus (1986).

In this book, Thubron did a great job tracing the history of Cyprus from its Neolithic origins through to its many occupations.

“So rich and complex is the island’s history, so various the blood which it has mingled, that it is impossible accurately to trace its maturing. The country’s pageant is that of other races: of western powers traveling eastward- Mycenaeans, Romans, Crusaders; and of the eastern powers west – Egyptians, Phoenicians, Turks. So it is true that only these Neolithic stones can tell what was original to the people.”

The author visited the island in 1972, walked into its cities and villages, climbed up its hills, visited the antiquities, made friends with Cypriots, brought to life through his words the landscapes he was seeing and felt the presence of Aphrodite everywhere.

“Yet one of these – the recurrence in legend and belief of a goddess, a many faced Aphrodite-would keep the link unbroken between Neolithic embryo and modern man.”

Join us in the research centre of the CVAR, where you can also try to find the presence of Aphrodite.

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