5 NOVEMBER 1927, Page 21

Some Books of the Week As a lover of that

great romantic poem, "the Odyssey, Sir Rennell Rodd attempts to prove that the island now bearing the famous name of Ithaca is that to which the wise prince returned, after so many years of adventure, to bend his mighty bow, and at last give peace to Penelope (Homer's Ithaca. Arnold. Os.). The author deals specially with the theory of Dr. Dorpfeld, who holds that Leucas or Leucadia is likelier to have been The domain of Odysseus ; and touches on various Homeric questions in an interesting way. Sir Rennell declares his faith in the Odyssey as a poem one and indivisible, and his belief that the author, or chief author, had his knowledge of Ithaca from personal observation, not from hearsay. The most attractive part of his book describes his own visit to the island, and his identification of the chief places mentioned in the narrative of Homer, especially the Fountain of Arethusa and the Cave of the Naiads. He allows us to smell the scented herbs on the barren hills and to see the stars startlingly clear through the pure Greek air. The people he describes as hardy and industrious. According to the persistent legend, Odysseus, after all, found Ithaca too dull for his end ; and sailed for the Happy Isles. But Sir Rennell Rodd loves this island ; and with an earnest modesty which is full of.charm, he asserts its high history.

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