"My Name is Sappho" is a moving novel about Sappho, the poet of Lesbos. Against a panoramic view of Greece in the sixth-century BC Sappho, a woman of unconventional intelligence, insight and initiative, comes to life through her poetry, her power and her passionate loves, as the world's first feminist.
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Out of history, legend and the cloud drifts of Sappho's own poetry, Martha Rofheart has spun a dazzling tale---a life of high adventure, brutal war, political intrigue, and poignant romance. The dimly known era of Greece six centuries before Christ is illuminated in a lyrical and humanistic story of a woman whose enduring fame lies in her new conception of woman as an intellect and an artist. Here Sappho is no languishing poetess: she is a vain, lively witch with snapping black eyes, a fiery temper, beguiling charm---and genius. Employing the same multiple narrative style that proved so successful in her two novels of medieval England, the author presents the world of archaic Greece with vitality and immediacy. Sappho herself tells the first part, her girlhood at Mitylene on the island of Lesbos, he swift emergence as a singer, musician and performer, her girl companions, and her dangerous involvement in the assassination and overthrow of a tyrant---her initiation into active feminism. Next narrator is Alkaios, her fellow poet---handsome, reckless, cynical and witty---who boasted of running from the battlefield, but who rushed headlong into conspiracy and revolt. The shock and bloody uselessness of war is shown, along with the turmoil it leaves in its wake. Alkaios tells of his life under dictatorship and of his exile to Pyrrha along with Sappho and others. He tells also of his deep attraction for the young Sappho and of their swift bacchanalian affair of passion. After the years of exile and travel, tempest and shipwreck, romance and tragic marriage, Sappho tells of he pardon and return---and her establishment of a school for women poets. Martha Rofheart handles with delicate sensitivity Sappho's tender involvement with the young girl Atthis. The final segment, by Sappho's sister-in-law, Doricha, stands as an eloquent plea for the rights of women in a male oriented world. Doricha's gentle but factual comments provide a full, comprehensive view of Sappho's personality and breathtaking genius. The pages of My Name Is Sappho are crowded with colorful historical figures, each bursting with vitality. From Aesop to Thales, a young and pagan world springs to life in this story, swift-paced and suspenseful, of a complex, enchanting woman---Sappho.About the Author:
Martha Rofheart was born in Louisville, Kentucky, and reared by Welsh grandparents. Her writing career began early, in the first grade, when her grandfather paid her a quarter for every poem she wrote. At ten she won the National One-Act Play Contest, a competition open also to adults, and her interest turned for a time from writing to acting. She appeared on Broadway, in summer stock and on television, under her maiden name, Martha Jones.
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Book Description Putnam, 1974. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 1ST. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0399114009