April so far? Finished Augustus by John Williams and my accessory of choice has been cameos; I’m currently all about that Roman profile apparently.
It took me a while to finish Augustus not because it wasn’t good, it was great, but because it’s the kind of book that I really want to read in long sittings and I’ve hadn’t had time for that the last two weeks.
It’s an epistolary novel and not until the end is one of those letters actually from Augustus himself. Until the third part his life is told through the eyes of other people which means that is very different from Stoner but yet the same. Stoner had a detached quality to it, as do this, but I guess that’s the voice of Williams shining through.
The novel isn’t historically correct it should be noted, Williams has toyed with timelines and invented lost manuscripts but there is a bigger truth then facts if I may be so bold. This is a novel, doesn’t claim to be anything then a novel and so accuracy isn’t the most important thing, the story is. I come to it with a knowledge of the Roman empire, and Augustus, in addition to a well-documented love of The memoirs of Hadrian by Marguerite Yourcenar which was written around the same time. I must now read I,Claudius by Robert Graves which I have only seen as a BBC-adaptation. That said, a knowledge and interest in the inner workings of that empire is not a prerequisite for enjoying this; the story of a ambitious politician is timeless in many ways.
The same day as I bought Augustus I wore my inherited cameo for the first time in a long time, it was for a special occasion. And apparently my appetite for classics/granny-style continues. Yes I did buy a pelargonium, and Yes: I did rummage for my other cameos. I think the Roman profile on the cover of the book has seeped in to my unconscious.
Technically my pendant is an “intaglio”(it has to do with if they are carved out or imprinted) but that has been used a lot; it’s a 1920’s thing I bought in an antique shop once. The big cameo I sometimes use put at my collar, the two small ones I mostly use together. I’m looking for a third because they look best that way, like a triumvariate of cameos.
Things mentioned in this post;
Augustus by John Williams
The memoirs of Hadrian by Marguerite Yourcenare
BBC-adaptation of I,Claudius