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Helena, a Novel von Evelyn (1903-1966) Waugh
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Helena, a Novel (1950. Auflage)

von Evelyn (1903-1966) Waugh (Autor)

MitgliederRezensionenBeliebtheitDurchschnittliche BewertungDiskussionen
5871129,845 (3.51)24
Part of the fabulous new hardback library of 24 Evelyn Waugh books, publishing in chronological order over the coming year. The Empress Helena, mother of Constantine the Great, made the historic pilgrimage to Palestine, found pieces of wood from the true Cross, and built churches at Bethlehem and Olivet. Her life coincided with one of the great turning-points of history- the recognition of Christianity as the religion of the Roman Empire. The enormous conflicting forces of the age, and the corruption, treachery, and madness of Imperial Rome combine to give Evelyn Waugh the theme for one of his most arresting and memorable novels.… (mehr)
Mitglied:ArrupeLibrary
Titel:Helena, a Novel
Autoren:Evelyn (1903-1966) Waugh (Autor)
Info:Boston Little Brown (1950), Edition: 2nd Printing
Sammlungen:First Floor Library
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Helena von Evelyn Waugh

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Helena is the intelligent, horse-mad daughter of a British chieftain who is thrown into marriage with the man who will one day become the Roman emperor Constantius. Leaving home for lands unknown, she spends her adulthood seeking truth in the religions, mythologies, and philosophies of the declining ancient world, and becomes initiated into Christianity just as it is recognized as the religion of the Roman Empire. Helena--a novel that Evelyn Waugh considered to be his favorite, and most ambitious, work--deftly traverses the forces of corruption, treachery, enlightenment, and political intrigue of Imperial Rome as it brings to life an inspiring heroine.
  StFrancisofAssisi | Mar 20, 2020 |
Evelyn Waugh writes a fictional account of Saint Helena, the mother of Constantine the Great, who is reputed to have found the true cross in Jerusalem. We know so little about her; however the story Waugh invents seems plausible. In an age when those close to the emperors didn't live long, Helena was said to live to a ripe old age. She is revered as a saint today in many Christian denominations.

Since we don't really know what's true and what is not, we need not judge Helena on the details, just on a good story by a good author. ( )
  fdholt | Aug 19, 2019 |
Although Waugh’s trademark humour makes this a distinctive work, Helena is not anything like A Handful of Dust or Brideshead Revisited or any of the other droll masterpieces of social commentary that you’ve heard of. It is a novella of just over 200 pages, and it’s historical fiction – a fictionalised life of Helena, Empress of the Roman Empire and the mother of Constantine the Great who reigned from 306–337. The Catholics (and Waugh was a Catholic) made her a saint because she purportedly discovered the True Cross, the one on which Jesus was crucified.

As Waugh acknowledges in his brief and witty introduction, not much is known about Helena even though she was such a profound influence on her offspring that he was the first emperor to desist from persecuting the Christians, he issued the Edict of Milan which allowed them to practise their faith without being fed to the lions, and he prudently got himself baptised on his deathbed, thereby cleansing his soul of a lifetime of sins just in time for entry to the Pearly Gates. The Brits have acknowledged his pivotal role in establishing Christianity and Western Civilisation &c with an imposing statue at York Minster, because it was in York that his soldiers rebelled against the expectation that another Caesar would become Emperor and proclaimed him their leader instead.

So what? you may be thinking. What makes this a worthwhile book to read? Well, for a start, it’s always a good thing to have the role of women acknowledged in history, even belatedly. And secondly, loosely based on the vaguest of historical fact, it allows Waugh full reign to create a most interesting story, enabling a critique of the excesses of the age which counters versions of Imperial Rome that focus more on murder and mayhem than the problem of political corruption and governance.

And it’s often droll, with surprisingly sensitive portraits of women in an era when men have so successfully hogged the limelight. Helena is a plain, horsey girl enjoying reading Homer’s Iliad with her tutor Marcias, when she attracts the attention of Constantius when he is deployed as a junior officer in Britain. The marriage begins well but after the birth of her only child Crispus Constantius’s ambitions take over and she is neglected for long periods of time. Helena however does not mope. She makes a life for herself, farming in Dalmatia and sustaining her father’s contempt for Roman politics.

To read the rest of my review please visit https://anzlitlovers.com/2018/08/20/helena-by-evelyn-waugh-bookreview/ ( )
  anzlitlovers | Aug 19, 2018 |
Witty and sometime humorous novella of St. Helen, mixed with a good deal of hagiography. The last few chapters were my favorite part: a "Golden Legend"-type pilgrimage to Jerusalem where Helena finds the True Cross and other relics. I also relished the literary or classical allusions such as Helena's father, King Coel of the Trinovantes calling for mead and music then dismissing his bowl, fiddlers three and pipe. Also Helena takes the young Constantine to "Government House" in her husband's posting and upon seeing the ocean, the little boy cries, "The sea; the sea!"

Delightful! ( )
  janerawoof | May 30, 2016 |
"The enormous conflicting forces of the age, and the corruption, treachery and madness of Imperial Rome", 1 July 2015

This review is from: Helena (Twentieth Century Classics) (Paperback)
Short novel, in which the author takes what is known about 'Saint' Helena, and weaves the rest from imagination and legend. The novel opens when she is a girl, living in Colchester - the daughter of King Coel. A spirited, horse-mad young woman, she soon catches the eye of visiting emperor-to-be Constantius.
Waugh writes imaginatively of a time we know little about; palace life, the violent world of the ruling classes, and various religions, as people seek enlightenment (although the dialogue often makes them sound more like Bright Young Things than characters from antiquity!) Helena discovers Christianity and makes it her mission to go to Jerusalem to find the true Cross, but this is in no sense a preachy book - the aged relic-hunter Helena is a breezy, determined character.
Interesting (put me somewhat in mind of Robert Graves' 'I Claudius' trilogy) but with comic moments too. ( )
  starbox | Jun 30, 2015 |
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» Andere Autoren hinzufügen (8 möglich)

AutorennameRolleArt des AutorsWerk?Status
Evelyn WaughHauptautoralle Ausgabenberechnet
Gan, PeterÜbersetzerCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Lecuona, PedroÜbersetzerCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Prebble, SimonErzählerCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
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To Penelope Betjeman
Erste Worte
Es war einmal vor vielen, vielen Jahren, und ehe noch all die Blumen einen Namen hatten, die unten am Fuss der regengepeitschten Mauern im Winde schaukelten, eine Prinzessin; sie sass oben am Fenster, und ein Sklave las ihr eine Geschichte vor, die damals schon uralt war; oder, um es nüchtern zu sagen: An einem nassen Nachmittag, an den Nonen des Mai, im Jahre des Heils 273 (wie spätere Berechnungen ergaben) blickte in der Stadt Colchester die rothaarige jüngste Tochter Coels, des Häuptlings der Trinovanten, Helena mit Namen, träumerisch in den Regen hinaus, während ihr Lehrer ihr aus einer lateinischen Übersetzung der homerischen Ilias vorlas.
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Part of the fabulous new hardback library of 24 Evelyn Waugh books, publishing in chronological order over the coming year. The Empress Helena, mother of Constantine the Great, made the historic pilgrimage to Palestine, found pieces of wood from the true Cross, and built churches at Bethlehem and Olivet. Her life coincided with one of the great turning-points of history- the recognition of Christianity as the religion of the Roman Empire. The enormous conflicting forces of the age, and the corruption, treachery, and madness of Imperial Rome combine to give Evelyn Waugh the theme for one of his most arresting and memorable novels.

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Penguin Australia

Eine Ausgabe dieses Buches wurde Penguin Australia herausgegeben.

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