BOOK RE­VIEW

Timeless Travels Magazine - - CONTENTS - Dilys Pow­ell

Eland Books Pub­lished: 3 Novem­ber 2016 Price: £12.99

The Villa Ari­adne refers to the dig house that was built by Arthur Evans when he was ex­ca­vat­ing the Mi­noan ru­ins of Knos­sos in Crete. Dilys Pow­ell was a jour­nal­ist who wrote for the

Sun­day Times for over 50 years and was mar­ried to Hum­fry Payne, one of the Bri­tish ar­chae­ol­o­gists who worked at the site. Payne was Head of the Bri­tish School of Athens be­tween 1929 to his death in 1936 and Pow­ell vis­ited him fre­quently at Knos­sos.

This is a de­light­ful book that weaves to­gether the sto­ries of the villa and those who stayed there: the au­to­cratic founder, Arthur Evans but also his suc­ces­sor John Pendle­bury, whose heroic lead­er­ship of the lo­cal de­fence against Ger­man in­va­sion in 1941 made him a le­gend.

The villa was also the site of the dar­ing kid­nap of Ger­man Gen­eral Kreipe by spe­cial op­er­a­tions of­fi­cers, in­clud­ing Pa­trick Leigh Fer­mor, in 1944.

But The Villa Ari­adne is far more than just their sto­ries. Unit­ing an­cient myths and his­tory with first-hand ob­ser­va­tion and tales she has told, Pow­ell leaves us a com­plex por­trait of the is­land as a whole – a place she knew and loved for forty years.

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