June 1, 2013 at 4:56 pm

Greek Islands, Anyone?

January 12, 2012
Tim Smith

Alden Library has just added the 20-volume set titled McGilchrist’s Greek Islands. As the author, Nigel McGilchrist, says on his website for the set that the books started out to be an addition to the Blue Guides series, but he accumulated too much information for the Blue Guides format, and so found another publisher.

Here’s the scope of the series, again from his website: “With the sole exception of Crete, this series covers all the Greek, Aegean islands from tiny Antikythera up to Samothrace, and from the Lesser Sporades off the north of Alonnisos down to Kastellorizo, riding at anchor just off the southern coast of Turkey.” He hopes to be able to add Crete and the Ionian Islands at some point.

He states his focus in the books thusly: “For better or for worse, these are not typical ‘guide-books’. They are literary, integrated portraits of the islands, drawn out in three dimensions: along a historical axis, a topographical axis, and a spiritual axis. By the last, I mean that they explore the human spiritual worlds which lay behind the places they describe: the rites practised in ancient Greece, the intentions of the painters and builders of the humble Byzantine churches, or the aspirations of the Island refugees who created so much of modern Greece.”

Also for better or worse, the books have very nicely drawn maps and site plans, but no photography. The Island Photos part of his website, however, has many photos of each of the islands, such as Kastellorizo (above).
Alden Library’s holdings of this set of books resides on the 6th floor with the call number DF895 .M373 2010x.

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