In The Odyssey, literature’s most famous tourist, Odysseus, escapes the Cyclops by claiming he is outis – no one. A clever ruse; and yet it also suggests that Odysseus must submerge the Iliadic, warrior part of his being and become another kind of hero, reliant upon his wit, before he can return home. In effect, this is the same task that Harry Mount sets himself in his new book, as, recovering from an emotionally draining break-up, he sets out to renew himself, a ‘dried-up husk of a person’.
This isn’t really a travel book. Rather, it’s a memoir-cum-classical history,