The temptation is to call this a dog’s dinner, since Una, Philip Womack’s faithful pooch, has clearly been wolfing it down with great enjoyment. But ‘Ruff Guide’ might be a better description. The original Rough Guide travel books were marketed as a midway point between ‘cost-obsessed student guides and heavyweight cultural tomes’, a category into which this time-travelling volume neatly fits.
Womack read classics and English at Oxford about twenty years ago. This book is an introduction mainly to Greek and Roman literary achievements. Fair enough: literature burst onto an illiterate Europe with Homer in around 700 BC; history, tragedy, philosophy and so on followed. The Romans fell on Greek literature,