A Dark Enchantment
1869. Young Englishman Godwin Tudor visits Athens intending to photograph antiquities, but soon discovers that modern Greece is far more interesting. He is invited to the remote and beautiful estate of expatriate landowner Edgar Brooke, and is captivated by Brooke’s daughter Lydia. Unfortunately for Tudor, Lydia has other suitors and Brooke’s estate is caught up in political and financial struggles that originate from far beyond its boundaries.
Greece is on the brink of vast changes. If they are allowed to proceed, they will sweep away traditional ways of life – including the power of the local brigands – as surely as they will devastate the local landscape. Tudor’s misguided involvement results in his companions being swept up into an intrigue which threatens not only their integrity but their lives.
The novel conveys a rich sense of 19th-century Greece, recreating both the magnificence of the scenery and the physical discomfort and danger of travelling through it. The final section tackles the difficult challenge of a change of perspective, giving both a fascinating – and ironic – long-term view and an unexpected plot twist. This is an enjoyable novel that draws on the traditions of Victorian fiction, and offers all the adventure of exploring 19th-century Greece without the discomfort of leaving home.