I increasingly find my reading list packed with books reviewed in the Wall Street Journal’s opening editorial page or in the excellent “Review” section of the weekend Journal.
Such is the case with this slim book by Richard Jenkyns, emeritus Professor of the Classical Tradition and the Public Orator at the University of Oxford. He calls his volume “a survey of classical antiquity,” the literature of Greece and Rome from their earliest appearance through roughly the 1st century A.D.
Jenkyns offers deeply informed and learned opinions about classical writers and their works created during decades of deep study and consideration. He shares these illuminating views with his readers with passion and joy, making CLASSICAL LITERATURE a delight to read.
The only problem with this book is that it fosters the desire to revisit texts that many
of us last touched in a college honors class. Like a good professor, Jenkyns has called for some additional homework. I can see adding Iliad and Odyssey to the reading stack, as well as the histories of Herodotus and Thucydides, as well as a few of the works of the Greek playwrights. The shelf of books waiting to read just got heavier.