The story of 'The Odyssey' has captured the human imagination for centuries. Odysseus' homeland of Ithaca, a breathtakingly beautiful island in the Ionian Sea, still attracts visitors who are intrigued by Homer's epic adventure. But can we connect today's Ithaca to the romantic island in Homer’s Odyssey? Was Odysseus a real, or a mythological figure? With a sleuth's eye for detail, Jane Cochrane reveals the fascinating answers to these questions, combining thorough academic research with her own personal perspective of this extraordinary island.
Odysseus' Island relates the discovery in 2010 of the Palace of Odysseus by archaeologists from mainland Greece. These findings were subsequently challenged by the neighbouring island of Kefalonia who wished to claim Odysseus as their own. Ithaca's ancient history, according to some academics, was suddenly in doubt. In response to this, Jane Cochrane has brought together the various strands of archaeological and literary research to reveal the stunning proof of a thriving, ancient city on Ithaca where Odysseus reigned as king. Inspired by her husband Alec and with the help of the eminent Classics Professor George L Huxley, Jane takes us on a journey of Classical proportions to uncover the ancient truth behind the island of Odysseus.
Interwoven with these discoveries is a touching and entertaining personal story of Jane's relationship with the island - one that started well over 30 years ago. Ithaca is brought into the present day with the exploits of Jane and Alec's gradual restoration of an ancient ruin as a summer retreat and the accounts of deep friendships made over the years with the island's tight-knit community. For romantics and academics alike, Odysseus' Island is a must-read for those who would like to walk the ancient Homeric paths in the footsteps of Odysseus.