By Hilary Mantel
From the double guy Booker prize-winner comes a rare paintings of historic mind's eye – this is often Hilary Mantel’s epic novel of the French Revolution. Georges-Jacques Danton: zealous, vigorous and debt-ridden. Maximilien Robespierre: small, diligent and scared of violence. And Camille Desmoulins: a genius of rhetoric, captivating and good-looking, but additionally erratic and untrustworthy. As those younger males, key figures of the French Revolution, style the addictive delights of strength, the darker part of the period’s political beliefs is unleashed – and all needs to face the horror that follows.
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With two powerful gods as parents, it is not surprising that the little girl grew up to be a beautiful maiden. Her mother loved the child more than anything else in the world and cringed at the idea of ever being apart from her. After she had grown up and become a young woman, Persephone’s beauty caught the eye of Hades, the ruler of the Underworld. Hades fell in love at the very first sight of her. He knew he wanted to marry no one else. Overcome with love, Hades went to Zeus, his brother and Persephone’s father.
After beating Cronus three times, Zeus declared the Olympian gods to be the winners. After the war, the Olympians sent most of the Titans to Tartarus to be locked up for eternity. The victors built a bronze gate over the mouth of the cavern, and the Hundred-handed Ones were placed outside as guards. Atlas, another child of Iapetus and Themis, who had led the Titans into battle, received a special punishment. He was forced to hold the world on his back for all eternity. This turned out to be a far more challenging task than imprisonment in Tartarus.
Prometheus decided to change things. He went up to heaven and secretly stole fire from the gods. Hiding the fire inside the stalk of a fennel plant, Prometheus brought it back to the people on earth. Then he taught the people how to cook grains and meat, and how to keep fire burning so that it would always be available. Prometheus also showed the humans how they could use fire to forge metal, just as Hephaestus, the god of fire and the forge, was doing on Mount Olympus. Prometheus did all these things to help the humans because he wanted them to survive in the world now populated by other, more physically powerful creatures.
A Place of Greater Safety by Hilary Mantel